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Iprebistoric Emerica. 

ttol. III. 

+- t .*++*+ + * + 

Ube /iDounD JBuiloers. 

Bntmal JEffiaies. 
Ube dliff Bwellers. 
ant) Symbols. 


of Brcbttecture. 







Member of American Antiquarian Society; American Historical Society , 

New England Historical and Genealogical Society; Fellow American 

A ssociation A d. of Science ; Cor. Member A merican Oriental Society ; 

Xsimismatic Society of New York; Victoria Institute; Society 

Biblical Archeology ; Davenport Academy of Science ; also, 

Editor of American Antiquarian and Oriental Journal. 















mysterious people called the Cliff-Dwellers, have 
been for many years the objects of much curiosity, and 
are still regarded with great interest. Various parties have 
entered the region where their works and relics were discov- 
ered; some of whom have written interesting accounts of their 
own explorations, and two or three have published books upon 
the fubject. As a result, the mystery surrounding them, has 
been to some degree dispelled; so that they can no longer be 
regarded as so obscure and strange a people, as they once were. 

The most of the parties who have entered the field have 
come to the conclusion, that they were the same people as 
those who are known under the name of the Pueblos, and that 
they practiced a very similar architecture; the main difference 
between them, consisting in the fact, that they were situated 
upon the borders of the Pueblo territory and were here subject 
to the attacks of the Wild Tribes, which have so long infested 
the region. 

The author of this book, who is the editor of the American 
Antiquarian, has taken this as his clew, and so has used a 
double title. He has given descriptions, not merely of the 
cliff-dwellings and their local surroundings and history, but of 
their distribution and varied relations. His position is, that 
the cliff-dwellings were permanent abodes, but were built at 
different periods; some of them at a very ancient date; others 
at a period which was not very long before the discovery of 

The development of the Pueblo art and architecture was 
entirely in the prehistoric period, and represents the progress 


which was made during that period, especially in that part of it 
which was called the Stone Age 

The influence of environment is recognized, but as attended 
by the influence of an ethnic origin, which at present is some- 
what uncertain. The subject of languages is not entered 
upon; even their' myths and symbols have been left to another 

The author has given several years of close study to the 
book, and has written the chapters at intervals. By this means 
he has been able to keep pace with the progress of discovery,, 
and to give the results of the latest explorations. In present- 
ing the volume to the public, he would make acknowledgment 
of the assistance which he has derived from reading the reports 
of all of the parties who have ever entered the field, beginning 
first with the early Spanish explorers; taking next the early 
American explorers, and continuing to draw from the reports 
and descriptions which have been written by every party which 
has ever visited the region, including those who have written 
for the popular magazines and for the newspapers. The names 
of the writers are given in the book, and a few, who have never 
written anything for publication, have been mentioned, especi- 
ally those who are dwelling in the region and are familiar with 
the works and ruins in their own locality. Thanks are due to 
Mr. W. H. Holmes and Mr. F. H. Chapin; to the Chief of the 
Ethnological Bureau, the Superintendent of the Santa F6 Rail- 
road, and to Flood & Vincent, for the use of cuts; and, also, to 
Mr. Lewis W. Gunckel, for the use of photographs. 












CHAPTER X. Continued. 













Ruins on a Mesa, 

Foot Trail, 3 

Kiva and Pueblo, - 3 

Mesa and Pueblo at Shupaulavi, 4 

Mesa Cliff Side, - 6 

Sand Rocks, - 6 

Cloud Effects, 10 

Mountain and Cloud, - IG 

Mesa Verde, 12 

Geological Relief of the Great Plateau, 15 


The Echo Cave on the San Juan, 17 

Hohlefels Cave at Wurtenberg, 20 

Bone Cave at Gailenreuth, Bavaria, 20 

Tower in Sardinia, 21 

Ancient Wall on the Mesa, 23 

Scenery on the Mancos, 26 

Bad Lands in Utah, 26 


Ruins at the Head of McElmo Canon, 36 

Cliff near Fort Wingate, 44 

Toj alone Cliff, near Zuni, 44 

Zuni with Ta-ai-ya-la-na in the Distance, - - 59 


Mountain of the Holy Cross, - - 64 
Hungo Pavie Restored, r 



The First High Cliff-House Discovered, 82 

Black Tower on the Mancos, 84 

Sixteen-Windowed High House, 91 

Section and Ground Plan of the High Houses, r 92 

Ruined Tower on the Mancos, - 91 

Cliff with High Houses, 93 

View of Cliffs on the Mancos, - 94 

Square Tower on the Mancos, - 95 


Toltec Gorge, - 98 

Scenery in Marshall Pas?, - - 99 

Cliff Palace, Front View, 100 

Cliff Palace, Side View, - - 101 

Lookout in the Acowitz Cafion, 102 

Estufa with Air Flue, 103 

Square Tower in the Cliff Palace, 107 

Portion of the Cliff Palace, - 107 


Cave Houses and Storage Cist, 123 

Cavate House and Fireplace, - 124 

Storage Cists, - 125 

Two-Story Cliff House Ground Plan Doorway, - 126 

Echo Cave on the San Juan, - 128 

Cliff Village in Cold Spring Cave, - 130 


Ruined Pueblo, - 139 

Tower for Defense, 140 

Estufa with Air Flue, - 141 

Remnants of Pottery, - 142 

Cliff-Dwellers' Sandals, - 144 


Church at Tabira, 166 

View of Mashognavi and Shupaulavi, - 174 

Ancient Ruins on the Animas, - 176 

View of Casa Grande, - 177 

East Wall of North Room, 178 

North Wall of North Room, 179 

South Wall of North Room, 180 

Cave Houses and Ruined Towers, - - 183 

Ancient Pueblos and Ruined Towers on the McElmo, 184 

Battle Rock near the McElmo, - 185 

Ruins on the McElmo, - 186 


CHAPTER X. Continued. 


Ancient Wall near Montezuma Cafion, 

Ancient Graves on the Montrzuma Canon, 

Ruins in Montezuma Cafion, T 93 

Ruins upon the San Juan, Z 93 

Two-Story Cliff House, 194 

Pueblo on the Animas, - 95 

Air Passage for Estufa, - 1 9% 


Isolated Cliff near Flagstaff, 208 

Cave Fortress near San Francisco Mountain, 209 

Isolated Fortress, 212 

Ruined Pueblo on a Mesa, with Outlook, - 213 

Tower on the San Juan, 216 


A Typical Great House at Zuni, 222 

A Typical Solitary House, 223 

Plat of Ruins of Casas Grandes, - - 229 

Ruins of Casas Grandes, 230 

Fortified Pueblo with Outer Wall and Interior Court, 231 
Fortified Pueblo with Drained Court Reservoir Outside, 232 

Gateway to the Court at Pecos, - 233 

Manner of Constructing Pueblo Roofs, 234 

Ruined Pueblo on the Chaco, 235 

Map of a Portion of Chaco Cafion, - 237 

Specimens of Masonry on Chaco Cafion, - 240 

Balconies and Doors, 241 

Doorways of a Cliff Dwelling, 242 


Montezuma, 246 

Transformed Youths, . 247 

Emblems of the Mamzrau Society, - 249 

Estufa with Piers in Acowitz Cafion, - 252 

Round House in Acowitz Cafion, 253 

Plan of First Cliff Dwelling in Mancos Cafion, - 254 

Cliff Village with Estufa and Spring in a Cave, 2^ 

Cliff Village without Estufa, - . 2 \\ 

Floor of the Kiva, . 2 ~2 

Opening to the Kiva, . . 2 rg 

Ta-ai-ya-la-na, the Sacred Mountain of the Zunis, - 260 

A Navajo God, . . . 2 ^ x 

A Zuni Sky God, .- . . . 2 
Zuni Symbols, .... 
Zuni Cloud Basket, 

CHAPTER XIII Continued. 


Cliff-Dwellers' Symbols, ' - - 264 

Rock Inscription in Arizona, - 265 

Shrine and Sun Symbols near Zuni, 267 


Sichaumavi, one of the Seven Modern Tusayan Villages, 271 

Court at Hano, showing Terraced Houses, etc., - 271 

Monarch's Cave, 274 

Towers on Cliff near Butler's Wash, - 276 

Doors and Windows, Spruce Palace, - 278 

Plastered Pillars in Cliff Palace, - 279 

Decorated Wall in Cliff Palace, 281 

Cliff Dwelling in Mummy Cave, 282 

Canon del Muerto, 283 

White House in the Canon de Chelly, 284 

Ruined Cliff House in the Mancos Canon, - 285 

Ruined House in Chaco Canon, - 285 

Indian Corn Carrier, 286 

T-shaped Door, - 286 

Making Bread, - 291 


Stone Axes of the Pueblos, - 295 

Stone Fetiches of the Pueblos, 296 

Region Where Cliff Dwellings were first Discovered, 298 

Pueblo at Epsom Creek, 300 

Vase from the Tusayan Pueblos, - 302 

Water Jar, 303 

Metate from the Zuni Pueblo, 304 

Axe, 305 

Axes of the Cliff-Dwellers, - 306 

Mortar and Pestle, 307 
Arrow Heads, Fleshers and Grinder from Mancos Caflon, 308 

Wooden Shovel, 309 

Rattle and Clapper, - 310 

Drill and Bow, - 311 

Pottery Described by W. H. Holmes, 312 

Pottery Described by W. H. Jackson, - 313 

Jug Made from Coiled Ware, - 314 

Pueblo Woman with Pottery Jar, 315 


Storage Cist, - 327 

Cliff Village on Del Muerto, 328 

Shrine in Shape of Human Skull, - 330 

Toad Stool Shrine, 331 


CHAPTER XVJ. Continued. 


Montezuma Castle, - 332 

The Snake Dance at Oraibi, 335 

The Snake Dance at Walpi, 335 

The Snake Dance, 33$ 

The Snake Dance, - 339 

Carrier, Hugger, and Gatherer, 340 


Pueblo at Oraibi, 344 

Storage Cist in Cafion del Muerto, 345 

Ruined Pueblo on the McElmo, 346 

Casas Grandes, Sonora, 347 

Gymnasium at Chichen Itza, Guatemala, - 348 

Sacred Spring at Zuni, - 350 

Reservoirs at Quivira, 352 

Irrigating Ditch on the Rio Verde, 355 

Map of Ancient Ditch, 360 

Section of the Ditch, 360 


Storage Cist, . 3 68 

Cave Front, ^53 

Cavate Lodges on the Rio Verde, - - 373 


A Navajo Hogan, showing Posts, Walls, and Fire-bed, 376 

Map of the Pueblo Tribes and Location ot the Pueblos 377 

Modern Pueblo Pottery, ^ 

Modern Pueblo Pottery, . ^70 

Belts Woven by the Tarahumaris, JQ 

Loom Used by the Tarahumaris, . ^g T 

Conical Tents and Walled Pueblo, ^g5 

Indian Portraits Sioux, Navajos, and Utes, - ?g 7 

Twin Tower in Ruin Cafion, ^ 
Square Tower in Ruin Canon, 

Map of Ruin Cafion, . . ^g 

A Mashongnavi Woman and Mashongnavi Girl 

Navajo Priest, . . ^ 
Apache Runners, 

3^7 *J 



Grand Canon of the Colorado. Frontispiece, 

Trail Up the Canyon. 

Grand Canyon at the Foot of the Toroweap. 

Pink Cliffs, Paunsagunt Plateau. 

Vermillion Cliffs at Kanab. 

Colorado River. 

The Brink of the Inner Gorge. 

Key to the Panorama from Point Sublime. 

Mukuntuweap Canon. 

The Great Plateau, looking East. 

Scenery on the Mancos. 

Bad Lands in Utah. 

Valley of the Rio Grande. 

Hohlefels Cave at Wurtenberg. 

Bone Cave at Gailenreuth, Bavaria. 

Tower in Sardinia. 

Brock of Mousa, Shetland. 

Cliff Houses at Walpi. 

Cliff Dwellings on the San Juan. 

Cave Houses in the Shufmne. 

Cliff Dwellings on the Rio de Chelly. 

Cliff Fortresses on the Rio Verde. 

View From Mt. Taylor. 

The Village of Walpi. 

Mogollon Escarpment. 

Mashangnavi with Shupaulavi in the Distance. 

Pa-run-u-weap Canon. 

Cliff near Fort Wingate. 

Toyalone Cliff, near Zuni. 

Map of New Spain, after Mercator, 1569. 

Ortelius' Map of the New World, 1579. 

Map of the Pueblo Region. 

Scenery in the Cheyenne Canon and the Rio Grande. 

Casa Grande Ruin, from the East. 

Zuni with Taaiyalana in the Distance. 

The Grand Cafion of the Colorado. 

Sierra Blanca Mountain. 

The Ruins of Pecos. 

Pueblo Bonito Restored. 

Ruined Church at Pecos. 

Church and Pueblo on the Rock of Acoma. 

Ruined Pueblo on the Chaco. 

Ruined Pueblo at Pecos Court, Reservoir and Gateway. 

The Estufa at Taos. 

Scene on the Rio de Chelly. 

Pueblo at Taos North Building. 

Pueblo at Taos South Building. 

Solitary House on McElmo Cafion. 

Ruined Towers on the La Plata, Mancos, and McElmo 


Royal Gorge at Toltec Pass. 

View Down the Cliff Canon. 

Cliff Palace Front View. 

Square Tower in the Cliff Palace. 

Ruined Rooms of the Cliff Palace. 

Cliff Palace Showing Terraces and Foundations. 

Ruined Tower on the Colorado River. 

Ruined Village on the San Juan. 

Casa Grande in Chihuahua. 

Ancient Ruins at Chichen Itza, Guatemala. 

Cliff-Dwellers' Village in Canon de Chelly. 

Cliff Town on the Rio de Chelly. 

Casa Blanca Cliff Town in Canon de Chelly. 

Pictographs on Rocks in a Cliff-Outlook. 

Cliff Village in Sierra Madre, Mexico. 

Balloon-Shaped Storage Cist. 

Sand-Stone Columns at Walpi. 

Trail Up the Mesa at Walpi. 

Taos Showing Wall, Balconies, Terraces, and Roof. 

Hano One of the Tusayan Pueblos. 

Interior of a Modern Tusayan Room. 

Interior of a Modern Zuni Room. 

Modern Form of Roofs or Terraces at Oraibi. 

A Tusayan Pueblo Showing Modern Style of Wall. 

Pictographs in Shelter Caves and on the Rocks. 

Pictographs in Arizona. 

San Francisco Mountain. 

Scene in the Grand Canon. 

The Hidden Trail Among the Mountains. 

Cliff House in Walnut Canon. 

Houses of the California Indians. 

Houses of the Mandans. 

Modern Pueblo with Terraces and Ladders. 

Modern Pueblo with Covered Passage-ways. 

Gardens and Farms of the Zuni's. 

Corral in Pescado. 

Buffaloes Portrayed by DeBry. 

Sichumovi One of the Tusayan Villages. 

Court at Hano. 

House Interior at Pueblo Bonito. 

Reservoir in Canon de Chelly. 

The Modern Pueblo at Jemez. 

31d Irrigation Ditch near Verde Looking Westward. 

Old Irrigation Ditch nrar Verde Looking Eastward 

Ruined Village on the Rio Verde. 

Boulder Sites on the Rio Verde. 


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There is a region in. the deep interior of the American con- 
tinent, to which the name Great Plateau has been given. The 
name expresses its geological character. It is, however, a 
region which furnishss a wonderful field to archaeology, and 
deserves careful study on this account. There is no part of 
our great continent where more interesting problems are pre- 
sented than by this. These problems relate not merelv to the 
physical and natural history, but to human history as wdl. In 
fact, it is the human history which gives the chief interest to it, 
as that history is totally unlike any other on the face of the globe. 
It appears that a portion of the human race found lodgment 
in the midst of these grand scenes of nature, but became iso- 
lated by reason of their situation. Here, they developed a 
form of society which was largely the result of the environ- 
ment, but which culminated in a type of art and architecture 
which was most peculiar. There has been a great deal of mys- 

thrown around the people, and a name has been 
to them which starts a thousand fancies the name Cliff- 
Dwellers. The charm of this name does not come merely 
from the fact that the people dwelt so high up among the 
cliffs, as from the fact, that they developed so high a civiliia- 
tion in the midst of the cliffs. 

The inquiry naturally arises, whether this civilization was 
altogether the result of environment, or was owing to some 
other influence. There are differences of opinion on this 
point, as some maintain that the Cliff- Dwellers and the Pueblo 
tribes were like a molten mass, which was thrown into this 
gigantic mould, and came out bearing the stamp, as thoroughly 
as a casting does that which is found in any ordinary furnace. 
Others, however, ascribe the condition of the ClifMhreHers to 
their remarkable intelligence, combined with the influence of 
inheritance and employment. It is probable that all these had 
their effect, but as the first ( scenery > has been made so promt- 

we shall give our thoughts to this* thus making it a back- 
ground to the picture which we hope to draw in this volume. 

o not believe that the background is the picture, but it is 
essential to it, and is always designed to set forth the picture 
more c:c.u : .\ 




There is a region in. the deep interior of the American con- 
tinent, to which the name Great Plateau has been given. The 
name expresses its geological character. It is, however, a 
region which furnishss a wonderful field to archaeology, and 
deserves careful study on this account. There is no part of 
our great continent where more interesting problems are pre- 
sented than by this. These problems relate not merely to the 
physical and natural history, but to human history as well. In 
fact, it is the human history which gives the chief interest to it, 
as that history is totally unlike any other on the face of the globe. 

It appears that a portion of the human race found lodgment 
in the midst of these grand scenes of nature, but became iso- 
lated by reason of their situation. Here, they developed a 
form of society which was largely the result of the environ- 
ment, but which culminated in a type of art and architecture 
which was most peculiar. There has been a great deal of mys- 
tery thrown around the people, and a name has been given 
to them which starts a thousand fancies the name Cliff- 
Dwellers. The charm of this name does not come merely 
from the fact that the people dwelt so high up among the 
cliffs, as from the fact, that they developed so high a civiliza- 
tion in the midst of the cliffs. 

The inquiry naturally arises, whether this civilization was 
altogether the result of environment, or was owing to some 
other influence. There are differences of opinion on this 
point, as some maintain that the Cliff-Dwellers and the Pueblo 
tribes were like a molten mass, which was thrown into this 
gigantic mould, and came out bearing the stamp, as thoroughly 
as a casting does that which is found in any ordinary furnace. 
Others, however, ascribe the condition of the Cliff-Dwellers to 
their remarkable intelligence, combined with the influence of 
inheritance and employment. It is probable that all these had 
their effect, but as the first (scenery) has been made so promi- 
nent, we shall give our thoughts to this, thus making it a back- 
ground to the picture which we hope to draw in this volume. 
We do not believe that the background is the picture, but it is 
essential to it, and is always designed to set forth the picture 
more clearly. 


been our conviction that these ought to be brought to 

I We shall begin with a description of the topography of 
the entire region, and shall quote largely from the report of Mr 
CEDutton which is contained in the Second Annual Report 
of the Geological Survey. He says: 

For convenience of geological discussion, Major Powell has divided 
that belt of county which lies between the meridian of Denver, Colorado 
and the Pacific into provinces, each of which possesses topographical featu 


which distinguish it from the others. The easternmost, he has named the 
Park Province. It is situated in the central and western parts of Colorado 
and extends north of that State into Wyoming, and south of it into New 
Mexico. It is pre-eminently a mountain region, having several long ranges 
of mountains. The structure and forms of these mountains are not exactly 
similar to those of any other region, but possess some resemblance to the 

As we pass westward of these ranges we enter a region having a very 
different topography. The mountains disappear and in their stead we find 
platforms and terraces, nearly or quite horizontal on their summits or floors 
and abruptly terminated by long lines of cliffs. They lie at greatly vary- 
ing altitudes, some as high as 11,000 feet above the sea, others no higher 
than 5,000, and with still others occupying intermediate levels. Seldom 
does the surface of the land rise into conical peaks, or into long, narrow- 
crested ridges; but the profiles are long, horizontal lines, suddenly dropping 
down many hundreds, or even two thousand, feet upon another flat plain 

We are indebted to the courtesy of the Santa Fe Railroad Company for many of the cuts 
used to illustrate this chapter. 


below. This region has been very appropriately named by Major Powell, 
the Plateau Province. It occupies a narrow strip of western New Mexico, 
a large part of southern Wyoming, and. rather more than half of Utah and 

West of the Plateau Province is the 
Great Basin, so named by Fremont because 
it has no drainage to the ocean. Its topo- 
graphy is wholly peculiar and bears no 
resemblance to either of the two just alluded 
to. It contains a large number of ranges, 
all of which are very narrow and short, and 
separated from each other by wide intervals 
of smooth, barren plains. The mountains 
are of a low order of magnitude for the most 
part, though some of the ranges and peaks 
attain considerable dimensions. Their ap- 
pearance is strikingly different from the 
noble and picturesque outlines displayed in 
Colorado. They are jagged, wild, and un- 
graceful in their aspect, and, whether viewed 
from far or near, repel rather than invite the 

The Grand Canyon District is a part of 
the Plateau Province, and to this as a whole 
we call attention. As already indicated, it 
lies between the Park and Basin Provinces, 
and its topography differs in the extreme 
from those found on either side of it. It is 
the land of tables and terraces, of buttes 
and mesas, of cliffs and canyons. Standing 
upon any elevated spot where the radius of 
vision reaches out fifty or a hundred miles, 
the observer beholds a strange spectacle. 
The most conspicuous objects are the lofty and brilliantly-colored cliffs. 
They stretch their tortuous courses across the land in all directions, yet not 
without system; here throwing out a great promontory, there receding in a 
a deep bay, and continuing on and on until they sink below the horizon, or 
swing behind some loftier mass, or fade out in the distant haze. Each cliff 
marks the boundary of a geographi- 
cal terrace and marks, also, the ter- 
mination of some geological series 
of strata, the edges of which. are ex- 
posed, like courses of masonry, in 
the scarp-walls of the palisades. In 
the distance may be seen the spec- 
tacle of cliff rising above and beyond 
cliff, like a colossal stairway leading 
from the torrid plains below to the 
domain of the clouds above. Very 
wonderful at times is the sculpture 
of these majestic walls. There is an 
architectural style about it, which 
must be seen to be appreciated. The 
resemblances to architecture are not 
fanciful or metaphorical, but are real 
and vivid; so much so that the unac- 
customed tourist often feels a vague 
skepticism whether these are truly 
KIVA AND PUEBLO. the works of the blind forces of 

nature, or some intelligence akin to 

human, but far mightier; and even the experienced explorer is sometimes 
brought to a sudden halt and filled with amazement by the apparition of 
forms as definite and eloquent as those of art. Each geological formation 



exhibits in its cliffs a distinct style of architecture, which is not reproduced 
among the cliffs of other formations, and these several styles differ as much 
as those which are cultivated by different races of men. 

The character which appeals most strongly to the ey is the coloring. 
The gentle tints of an eastern landscape, the pale blue of distant moun- 
tains, the green of veinal or summer vegetation, the subdued colors of 
hillside and meadow, are wholly wanting here, and in their place we behold 
belts of brilliant red, yellow, and white, which are intensihed rather than 
alleviated by alternating belts of gray. Like the architecture, the colors 
are characteristic of the geological formations, each series having its own 
group and range of colors. 

The Plateau country is also the land of canyons, in the strictest mean- 
ing of that term. Gorges, ravines, and canadas are found, and are more or 
less impressive in every high region; and in the vernacular of the West all 
such features are termed canyons, indiscriminately. But those long, narrow, 
profound trenches in the rocks, with inaccessible walls, to which the early 
Spaniards gave the name cayon, or canyon, are seldom found outside the 
plateaus. There they are innumerable and the almost universal form of 
drainage channels. Large areas of Plateau country are so minutely dis- 
sected by them, that they are almost inaccessible, and some limited, though 
considerable, tracts seem wholly so. Almost everywhere the drainage 
channels are cut from 500 to 3,000 feet below the general platform of the 
immediate country. They are abundantly ramified and every branch is a 


3,"' I The f eXpl rer on the mesas above must take heed to his course in 
such a place, for once caught in the labyrinth of interlacing side-gorges he 
must possess rare craft and self-control to extricate himself. All these 
fifty fifwS Iead down to one. great trunk channel, cleft through the 
heart of the Plateau Province for eight hundred miles-the chasm of he 
Colorado, and the canyons of its principal fork, the Green River Bv far 
the greater part of these tributaries are dry durin- most of 'the vear and 

sickly and seeks he sh a dies nooks At hi *l i "\ * l t d warfed and 
becomes more abundant and JaS Above 8000 fS ^ , v t e * ctation 
forest-clad and the ground is caroe rH wh J u 5 plateaus are 

I -.* 


tain platform is, in one respect, an anomaly among western mountain 
ranges. It is the only important one which trends east and west. Starting 
trom the eastern flank of the Wasatch, the Uintas project eastward more 
than 1 50 miles, and nearly jom perpendicularly the Park ranges of Colorado. 
Of the two portions into which the Plateau Province is thus divided, the 
southern is much larger. Both have in common the plateau features; their 
topographies, climates, and physical features in general, are of similar 
types, and their geological features and history appear to be closely related; 
out each has, also, its peculiarities. The northern portion is an interesting 
and already celebrated field for the study of Cretaceous strata and the 
Tertiary lacustrine beds. The subjects which it presents to the geologist 
are most notably those which are embraced under the department of strati- 
graphy the study of the succession of strata and co-related succession of 
organic life. Otherwise the region is tame, monotonous, and unattractive. 
The southern portion, while presenting an abundance of material for 
stratigraphical study, and jn this respect fully rivalling, and, perhaps, sur- 
passing, the northern portion, also abounds in the grandest and most 
fascinating themes for the student of physical geography. The northern 
portion is almost trivial as to the scenery, while the southern is the sublimest 
on the continent. With the former we shall have little to do; it is the latter 
which claims here our exclusive attention. 

The southern part of the Plateau Province may be regarded as a vast 
basin everywhere bounded by highlands, except at the southwest, where it 
opens wide and passes suddenly into a region having all the characteristics 
of the Great Basin of Nevada. The northern half of its eastern rim con- 
sists of the Park ranges of Colorado. Its northern rim lies upon the slopes 
of the Uintas. At the point where the Uintas join the Wasatch, the bound- 
ary turns sharply to the south, and for 200 miles the High Plateaus of Utah 
constitute the elevated western margin of the province. 

The Grand Canyon District the region draining into the Grand and 
Marble Canyons is the westernmost division of the Plateau Province. 
Nearly four-fifths of its area are situated in northern Arizona. The 
remaining fifth is situated in southern Utah. Let us turn our attention for 
a moment to the portion situated in Utah. It consists of a series of ter- 
races quite similar to those we have already seen descending from the sum- 
mit of the Wasatch Plateau to the San Rafael Swell, like a colossal stair- 
way. At the top of the stairs are the broad and lofty platforms of the 
High Plateaus of Utah; at the bottom is the inner expanse of the Grand 
Canyon District. The summits of the High Plateau are beds of the Lower 
Eocene Age. Descending southward, we cross, step by step, the terminal 
edges of the entire Mesozoic system and the Permian, and when we reach 
the inner floor of the Grand Canyon District we find that it consists of the 
summit beds of the carboniferous series, patched here and there with fad- 
ing remnants of the Permian. 

Thus we may note that the northern and eastern boundaries of the 
Grand Canyon District are cliff-bound terraces. Crossing the district, 
either longitudinally from north to south, or transversely from east to west, 
we find as we approach the southern or western border, that the carbonifer- 
ous platform ascends very gradually, and at last it terminates in a giant 
wall, plunging down thousands of feet to the platform of a country quite 
similar to the Great Basin of Nevada. All the features are repeated and 
the desolation intensified in the dreadful region which is west and south of 
the Grand Canyon region. 

Here, then, we have a birds-eye view of the topography of 
this region, written by one who is familiar with every part of it. 
We can see from the description that the Great Plateau was 
isolated from every other part of the continent. It was 
surrounded by higher mountains, and beyond the mountains 
by wide valleys the Great Mississippi Valley on the east, the 
valley of the Snake River on the north, the valley, which is 



called the Great Basin, on the west, and the valley of the 
^^"n^^hT^eUatirge^logist, says that a continent is 

it is lifted high up in 
the air, but is at the 
same time surrounded 
by higher peaks, and 
beyond the peaks are 
the great depths of 
air, which surround it 
as thoroughly as did 
once the rolling 
depths of water, 
which laved the shore 
in the ancient period 
when the mountains 
were new. 

II. We turn, then, 
to the scenery. Of 
this we have some very graphic descriptions. Ihese show the 
impressions which are made upon educated minds, but at the 
same time illustrate the necessity of coming into sympathy 

with the scene by long dwell- 
ing amid it, and becoming 
familiar with its changes. 

The following description 
is from Mr. C. E. Dutton's 

The Grand Canyon of the 
Colorado is a great innovation in 
modern ideas of scenery, and in our 
conceptions of the grandeur, 
beauty, and power of nature. As 
with all great innovations, it is not 
to be comprehended in a day or a 
week, nor even in a month. It 
must be dwelt upon and studied, 
and the study must comprise the 
slow acquisition of the meaning and 
spirit ot that marvelous scenery 
which characterizes the Plateau 
country, and of which the great 
chasm is the superlative manifesta- 
tion. The study and mastery of the influences of that class of scenery and 
its appreciat on. is a culture, requiring time, patience, and long familiarity, 
tor its consummation. The lover of nature, whose perceptions have been 
trained in the Alps, in Italy, Germany, or New England; in the Appalach- 
ians or Cordilleras, in Scotland or Colorado, would enter this strange region 
with a shock, and dwell there for a time with a sense of oppression, and, 
perhaps with horror. Whatsoever things he had learned to regard as 


\. >\ & 





beautiful and noble, he would seldom or never see, and whatsoever he 
might see would appear to him as anything but beautiful and noble. 
Whatsoever might be bold and striking, would at first seem only grotesque. 
The colors would be the very ones he had learned to shun, as tawdy and 
bizarre. The tones and shades modest and tender, subdued yet rich, in 
which his fancy had always taken special delight, would be the ones which 
are conspicuously absent. But time would bring a gradual change. Some 
day he would suddenly become conscious that outlines, which at first seemed 
harsh and trivial, have grace and meaning; that forms, which seemed gro- 
tesque, are full of dignity; that magnitudes, which had added enormity to 
coarseness, have become replete with strength and even majesty; that 
colors, which had been esteemed unrefined, immodest, and glaring, are as 
expressive, tender changeful, and capacious of effects as any others. 

Those who have long and carefully studied the Grand Canyon of the 
Colorado do not hesitate for a moment to pronounce it by far the most sub- 
lime of all earthly spectacles. If its sublimity consisted only in its dim n- 
sions, it could be sufficiently set forth in a single sentence. It is more than 
200 miles long, from five to twelve miles wide, and from 5,000 to 6,000 feet 
deep. There are in the world valleys which are longer, and a few which 
are deeper. There are valleys flanked by summits loftier than the palisades 
ot the Kaibab. Still, the Grand Canyon is the sublimest thing on earth. 

The Plateau country abounds in close resemblances to natural carving 
of human architecture, and nowhere are these more conspicuous or more 
perfect than in the scarps which terminate fhe summits of the Markagunt 
and Paunsagunt Plateaus. Their color varies with the light and atmo- 
sphere. It is a pale red under ordinary lights, but as the sun sinks towards 
the horizon, it deepens into a rich rose color, which is seen in no other rocks 
and is beautiful beyond description. The cliffs are of the Lower Eocene 
Age, consisting of lake marls very uniformly bedded. At the base of this 
series the beds are coarser, and contain well-marked, brackish- water fossils; 
but as we ascend to the higher beds we find the great mass of the Eocene 
to consist of fresh-water deposits. 

The Trias is in most places separated from the Jura by a purely pro- 
visional horizon, which marks a change in the lithological aspect of the 
strata, and in the grouping and habit of the series. Sometimes the passage 
from one to the other is obscured, but more frequently it is abrupt. The 
Jurassic sandstone is without a likeness in any other formation and the 
sandstone of the Trias can ordinarily be distinguished from it miles away. 
One of the most conspicuous distinctions is the color, and it is a never- 
failing distinction. Tne Jurassic is white; the Trias is flaming red. 

Superlative cloud effects, common enough in other countries, are 
lamentably infrequent here; but when they do come, their value is beyond 
measure. During the long, hot summer days, when the sun is high, the 
phenomenal features of the scenery are robbed of most of their grandeur, 
and can not, or do not, wholly reveal to the observer the realities which 
render them so instructive and interesting. There are few middle tones of 
light and shade. The effects of foreshortening are excessive, almost 
beyond belief, and produce the strangest deceptions. Masses which are 
widely separated seem to be superposed or continuous. Lines and surfaces, 
which extend towards us at an acute angle with the radius of vision, are 
warped around until they seem to cross it at a right angle. Grand fronts, 
which ought to show depth and varying distance, become flat and are 
troubled with false perspectives. Proportions which are full of grace and 
meaning are distorted and belied. During the midday hours the cliffs 
seem to wilt and droop, as if retracting their grandeur to hide it from the 
merciless radiance of the sun, whose every effulgence flouts them. Even 
the colors are ruined. The glaring face of the wall, where the light falls 
upon it, wears a scorched, over-baked, discharged look; and where the 
dense black shadows are thrown for there are no middle shades the 
magical haze of the desert shines forth with a weird, metallic glow, which 
has no color in it. But, as the sun declines, there comes a revival. The 
half-tones at length appear, bringing into relief the component masses; 
the amphitheatres recede into suggestive distances; the salients silently 



advance towards us; the distorted lines range 

tive; thedetormed curves come back to their 

grow clean and sharp; and the who e cliff arouses from lethargy and 

the rocks themselves. But the great gala-days erf Jjechff^are those* hen 

waging an even battle; 
when the massive banks 
of clouds S(nd their white 
diffuse lights into the dark 
places and tone down 
the intense glare of the 
direct rays; when they 
roll over the summits in 
statelv procession, wrap- 
ping them in vapor and re- 
vealing cloud-girt masses 
here and there through 
wide rifts. Then the truth 
appears and all decep 
tions are exposed. Their 
real grandeur, their true 
forms, and a just sense 
of their relations are at last fairly presented, so that the mind can grasp 
them. And they are very grand even sublime. There is no need, as we 
look upon them, of fancy to heighten the picture, nor of metaphor to 
present it. The simple truth is quite enough. I never before had a realiz- 
ing sense of a cliff 1,800 to 2,000 feet high. I think I have a definite and 
abiding one at present. 

But though the inherent colors are less intense than some others, yet, 
under the quickening influence of the atmosphere, they produce effects to 
which all others are far inferior. And here language fails and description 
becomts impossible. Not only are their qualities excetdingly subtle, but 
they have little counter- 
part in common experi- 
ence. If such are pre- 
sented elsewhere, they are 
presented so feebly and 
obscurely that only the 
most discriminating and 
closest observers of nature 
ever seize them, and they 
so imperfectly that their 
ideas of them are vague 
and but half real. There 
are no concrete notions 
furnished in experience, 
upon which a conception 
of these color effects and 
optical delusions can be 
constructed and made 
intelligible. A perpetual 
glamour envelopes the 
landscape. Things are not what they seem, and the perceptions can not 
tell us what they are. It is not probable that these effects are different in 
kind in the Grand Canyon from what they are in other portions of the 
Plateau country But the difference in degree is immense, and being 
greatly magnified and intensified, many characteristics become palpable 
which elsewhere elude the closest observation. 

In truth, the tone and temper of the landscape is constantly varying 
and the changes in its aspect are very great. It is never the same, even 



from day to day, or even from hour to hour. In the early morning its mood 
and subjective influences are usually calmer and more full of repose than 
at other times, but as the sun rises higher the whole scene is so changed 
that we cannot recall our first impressions. Every passing cloud, every 
change in ihe position of the sun, recasts the whole. At sunset the pageant 
closes am d splendors that seem more than earthly. The direction ot the 
full sunlight, the massing of the shadows, the manner in which the side 
lights are thrown in from the clouds determine these modulations, and the 
sensitiveness of the picture to the slightest variations is very wonderful. 

The rocks which are so striking in their form and size, and 
which bear so important a part in the scenery, are not all. 
There are colors in the rocks and shadows in the air which are 
as important as these. They are less substantial, but they add 
to the impression. We seem to be in dreamland when we look 
upon this atmospheric sea. The billows roll, perhaps, at our 
feet, but they rise also above our heads. We are like the one 
who sails through the air in his dreams and puts forth his hand 
to catch the sun. Clouds above and clouds below, one hardly 
realizes that his feet are upon substantial rocks. The effect of 
the cloud scenery, and of the color, upon the mind is certainly 
very great. Of this Mr. Button also speaks, as follows: 

Those who are familiar with western scenery have, no doubt, been im- 
pressed with the pecul'ar character of the haze, or atmosphere in the artistic 
sense of the word, and have noted its more prominent qualities. When the 
air is free from common smoke it has a pale blue color, which is quite unlike 
the neutral gray of the East. It is always apparently more dense when 
we look towards the sun, than when we look away from it, and this differ- 
ence in the two directions, respectively, is a maximum near sunrise and 
sunset. This property is universal, but its peculiarities in the Plateau 
Province become conspicuous when the strong, rich colors of the rocks are 
seen through it. The very air is then visible. We see it palpably, as a 
tenuous fluid, and the rocks beyond it do not appear to be colored blue, as 
they do in other regions, but reveal themselves clothed in colors ot their 

The Grand Canyon is ever full of this haze. It fills it to the brim. Its 
apparent density, as elsewhere, is varied according to the direction in which 
it is viewed and the position of the sun; but it seems also to be denser and 
more concentrated than elsewhere. This is really a delusion, arising from 
the fact that the enormous magnitude of the chasm and its component 
tissues dwarf the distances; we are really looking through miles of atmo- 
sphere under the impression that they are only so many furlongs. This ap- 
parent concentration of haze, however, greatly intensifies all the beautiful 
or mysterious optical effects which are dependent upon the intervention of 
the atmosphere. 

Whenever the brink of the chasm is reached, the chances are that the 
sun is high and these abnormal effects in full force. The canyon is asleep; 
or it is under a spell of enchantment which gives its bewildering ranges an 
aspect still more bewildering. Throughout the long summer forenoon the 
charm which bi.nds it grows in potency. At midday the clouds begin to 
gather, first in fleecv flecks, then in cumuli, and throw their shadows into 
the gulf. At once the scene changes. The slumber of the chasm is dis- 
turbed. The temples and cloisters seem to raise themselves half awake to 
greet the passing shadow. Their wilted, drooping, flattened faces expand 
into relief. The long promontories reach out from the distant wall, as if to 
catch a moment's refreshment from the shade. The colors begin to glow; 
the haze loses its opaque density and becomes more tenuous. The shadows 
pass, and the chasm relapses into its dull sleep again. Thus through the 
midday hours it lies in fitful slumber, overcome by the blinding glare and 



withering heat, yet responsive to every fluctuation of light and shadows 
like a delicate organism. 

Throughout the afternoon the prospect has been gradually growing 
clearer. The haze has relaxed its steely glare and has changed to a veil of 
transparent blue. Slowly myriads of details have come out and the walls_are 
flecked with lines of minute tracery, forming a drapery of light and shade. 
Stronger and sharper becomes the relief of each projection. The promon- 
tories come forth from the opposite wall. The sinuous lines of stratification 
which once seemed meaningless, distorted, and even chaotic, now range 
themselves into a true perspective of graceful curves, threading the scal- 
lop edges of the strata. The colossal buttes expand in every dimension: 
their long, narrow wings, which once were folded together and flattened 
against each other, open out, disclosing between them vast alcoves illumi- 
nated with Rembrault lights tinged with the pale, refined blue of the ever 
present haze. A thousand forms, hitherto unseen or obscure, start up within 
the abyss, and stand forth in strength and animation. All things seem to 
grow in beauty, power, and dimensions. What was grand before has be- 
come majestic, the majestic becomes sublime, and, ever expanding and 
developing, the sublime passes beyond the reach of our faculties and be- 
comes transcendent. The colors have come back. Inherently rich and 
strong, though not superlative under ordinary lights, they now begin to dis- 
play an adventitious brilliancy. The western sky is all aflame. The scat 
tered banks of cloud and wavy cirrus have caught the waning splendor, 


and shine with orange and crimson. Broad slant beams of yellow lirht 
shot through the glory nfts, fall on turret and tower, on pinnacled crest fnd 
winding ledge, suffusing them with a radiance less fulsome but akin "o thai flames ,n the western clouds. The summit bandTs brilliant yellow 
he next below is a pale rose. But the grand expanse within is a deeo 
urnmous resplendent red. The climax ha! now come Tn b la e of sun' 

KLffri Ver ^ '' imitable SUrfaCC f ' owin g ^ is flung back in?o 
the gulf, and, commencing with the blue haze turns it into a sea of 

- 11 . 1 -, J his leads us to the relation of the Great Plateau to 
Us inhabitant.. We have spoken of the effect of he environ 
ment upon human soc.ety, but the question is whether the 
effect here is commensurate to the scenery 

In this, hower, 


myths and legends in which all of the prominent features of 
the landscape are embodied. In them the mountain peaks, the 
deep gorges, the vast streams, the distant ocean, the many- 
colored rocks, the fleecy clouds, the glaring sunlight, the fierce 
storms, and the forked lightning figure conspicuously. The very 
things which wt regard as the forces of nature, with them were 
supernatural beings and the divinities, whom they worship- 
ped. They clothed them with different colors and gave them 
names, and seemed to be familiar with their history. These 
supernatural beings were their benefactors, and were always 
present. They dwelt within the rocks and had their furnished 
houses there. Some of them were born upon the tops of the 
mountains where the clouds meet, and continued to dwell there. 

The nature powers were all personified, and the divinities 
were clothed and active. The lightnings were the arrows of a 
chief, who wore the clouds for his feathers, and ruled the storm 
at his will. There were sunbeam rafts, which floated in the sky, 
on which the divinities calmly sailed. There were caves 
beneath the earth in which their ancestors dwelt, but the 
divinities lightened these caves, and brought them out. There 
were floods which covered the valleys, but there were rainbow 
arches stretched above the floods, and the land became dry and 
was fitted for the abode of men. There were sacred lakes be- 
neath which the spirits of the children, who had died, dwelt, 
but from their many-terraced homes, they sent their messen- 
gers to attend the sacred feast and to teach the people about 
the secret powers of nature. All these are contained in their 
mythologies, and will be found described in our book on 
44 Myths and Symbols." 

But the question which most interests us is that which 
relates to the character of the people. Was this affected by 
the scenery, or did it remain untouched and asleep? We con- 
clude, as we study the people as they are, and were, that they 
partook far more of the quietude of the scene, than they did 
of its grandeur. This seems strange to the transient visitor, 
and especially to the uneducated mind, for it is probable that 
there are many visitors from civilized and advanced circles of 
society, who stand in the midst of these scenes and are as un- 
moved as the natives themselves. At least they fail to see its 
hidden significance. 

Of course there is an inspiration which can be drawn from 
communings with nature, when she reaches such grandeur as 
exists here, provided one is equal to the effort of interpreting 
her mystic language. Sublimity is far more difficult to interpret 
than is ordinary beauty. One may commune with the delicate 
flower which grows in the crack and cranny of the rock, and 
feel the stirring of emotion at once; for it is like looking upon 
the face of a little child, the smile is involuntary, but sweeps 
over the face unconsciously. It is easy to catch the mood ot 
nature and to feel the touch of tenderness, but where nature is 


so silent and yet so grand, the response is longer d .clayed. It 
is like looking at the silent Sphinx, which is half hidden in the 
sands of the desert, and is the companion of the Pyrarr 3s, 
which are as silent. . . 

These distant regions, hidden so far away in the deep interior 
of the American Continent, have no associations to stir one 
memories. Lofty as the peaks are which surround the Great 
Plateau, they are silent; often covered with the white shrouds 
which have fallen upon them from the skies, but oftener draped 
in that hazy blue atmosphere which makes them so distant to 
the vision. They seem to belong to another world than ours. 
The colors which come from the varying tinges of the 
rocks are, indeed, very striking, and so are the jagged rocks 
which project from the sides of the mountains, but they always 
cause us to feel that some one is hidden beyond those shadows 
and that humanity has dwelt even in this great wilderness. The 
outlines of the rocks may resemble ancient castles, and we may 
imagine many things, but the impression is greatly heightened 
when we discover that there are actual ruins upon the rocks, 
and that those ruins were once inhabited and were used as 
castles by the ancient people, and a feeling of companionship 
is awakened. The enquiry at once arises: how long have these 
regions been occupied, who were the people who dwelt in these 
ruined structures, whence did they come, how long were -they 
here, what was their life, where did they get their subsistence, 
whither have they gone, what was their history, and have they 
left any record? 

The scene is not merely one of nature's handiwork, wrought 
in grandeur, and left without inhabitants; nor is it one in which 
the past is entirely covered with shadows. There must be a 
reality back of this scene; a substance amid these shadows. 
We might imagine many things, and be filled with a strange 
rhapsody as we think of the unreal world. We might picture 
the unseen spirits as having dwelt here, and shadowy ghosts as 
flitting from peak to peak. This might increase our wonder 
and fill us with awe, resembling that which the untrained minds 
of the natives have often felt as they have looked upon the 
scene; for with them the natural and supernatural are one. 

In that case, everything would be as weird and wild as a 
dream, as unreal as any picture which poet could draw. There 
might arise a sense of fear, and superstition might be aroused, 
and we find ourselves in the same mood as were the wild men, 
who were here before us. But this does not quite satisfy, we 
want to know about the people who formerly dwelt here. 
From these very heights we have gained glimpses of ruins 
which are as real as the rocks upon which they rest. These 
ruins stir our minds with new sensations, as they have the 
mindsof others, who have looked upon the same scenes. 

We are familiar with the people who dwell here now, but we 
want to know about the people who dwelt here in the long ago. 


We know, also, many things about the history of the Creation 
as it is written in the rocks, for the geologists have read this 
clearly for us. But we want to read the history of the people 
as well. The process has been a very slow one, and centuries 
have passed; but there must have been also a process by which 
the scene was peopled. We want to place the two records to- 
gether and solve the mystery. The history of the Creation 
is a marvellous one, and must have taken many thousands of 
years to accomplish. This history, the geologist is able to read 
and point out its periods and processes. As President Jordan has 
said, the earth's crust has been making history and scenery, with 
all the earth-moulding forces steadily at work, and has rested in 
the sun for ten thousand centuries. Mountains were folding, 
continents were taking form, while this land of patience lay 
beneath a warm and shallow sea, as the centuries piled up layer 
upon layer of sand and rock. 

At last the uplift of the Sierras changed the sands to dry 
land and by the forces of erosion the sands were torn away 


by slow process, until a mile or more of vertical depth had 
been stripped from the whole surface, leaving only flat-topped 
buttes here and there to testify to the depth of the ancient 
strata; if th^: swift river from the glacial mountains had done 
its work and narrowed its bounds, cutting its path through the 
flinty stone and dropped swiftly from level to level, until it 
reached the granite core of earth at the bottom, and a view 
from the canyon rim, shows at a glance how it all was done, 
we wonder that we cannot tell more about the people who 
came upon the scene, and the time at which they came. 

This is the scientists' interpretation, and brings to view the 
processes of nature; but what shall we say about the people 
who have dwelt amid this scene? What is their history, and 
what was the date of their advent? From what country did 
they come? To what race and stock did they belong? What 
were the channels, by which they reached these distant regions? 

Access to this isolated plateau was originally gained by 
means of great streams, the most of which are difficult of 
navigation, but they never-the-less open a channel in different 
directions, as all of them ultimately reach the sea. There are 
mountain passes by which wandering tribes, who were accus- 
tomed to follow the paths wherever they lead, could reach it. 


These different means of access have been employed by the 
different peoples who have entered the mysterious province. 

The first white man to enter it, was a lone traveller, who 
was ship-wrecked upon the eastern coast, and passing from 
tribe to tribe wandered at length into the Great Staked Plain 
and made his way along the southern border, then passed on 
to the far west, and there made his report of the marvellous 
things which he had seen. Atter which a little band of 
Spanish cavaliers passed up from the south- and traversed the 
valleys, and finally reached the Great Plateaus, and visited the 
pueblos which were scattered here and there, and at last passed 
over the mountains to the eastward and then continued their 
long wanderings in search of the fabulous land which they 
called Quivira. After the Spaniards, the Americans fitted out 
vessels and sailed around the continent, entered the mouth of 
the Colorado River, and finally reached the region by this 

The problem now before us does not refer to the means of 
access, nor to the conveniences of travelling by which we may 
reach the distant region; but it does relate to the period when 
this mysterious locality was first peopled, and to the direction 
which was taken by those who first reached it. This is difficult 
to solve, though many theories are held in reference to it. 

Some would place it as far back in a geological age as the 
time when this great air continent was, like other continents, 
surrounded by water, and raised but little above it. At that 
time the valleys, which are now so wide, were filled with seas, 
which have long since disappeared. 

Others, however, would date the peopling of this mysterious 
continent at a very recent period. Judging from the language 
which has been used by some, one might think that it was but 
a short time before the discovery by Columbus. The true date 
is between these two -xtremes; but it can not be definitely fixed 
until more facts are secured. 



" mM- 

tion see page 27. Courtesy of Chicagc 




We have in a preceding chapter described the cave dwellings 
of Europe, and have there considered them as the representa- 
tives of the earliest abodes of primitive man. We are to de- 
vote this chapter to the cliff-dwellings but shall first draw the 
comparison between them and the ancient caves for by that 
means we shall be able to decide as to the age and social status 
of the people who inhabited the former. It is understood that 
the cliff-dwellers were the inhabitants of the great plateau of the 
West, and for aught we know, were the earliest inhabitants. 
The date of their appearance and of their disappearance is very 
uncertain, for there is an air of mystery about the people which is 
difficult to dispel. The most that we know of them is that at 
some indefinite time in the past they came into this region and 


amid the deep canyons and on the high mesas made their homes, 
drawing their subsistence mainly from the valleys though occas- 
ionally they followed the chase, and fed upon the wild ani- 
mals which lived in the forest and roamed over the mountains. 
They seem to have been influenced largely by their surround- 
ings, for in their art they used the material which abounded, 
and in their architecture imitated the shapes of the cliffs. They 
are unknown to us except by their works and relics, but from 
these we learn that they were considerably advanced in the scale 
of human progress and furnish in t;his respect a strong con- 
trast to the cave-dwellers of Europe. They were likewise 
advanced beyond the ordinary savage and hunter tribes, and in 
their social status representer! the middle stage of barbarism, 
rather than any of the stages of savagery. They were a seden- 
tary people given largely to agriculture but cultivated the soil 
by means of irrigation. They were organized into clans and 


tribes, and at first built their houses on the mesas and in the 
valley's. They seem to have been surrounded by wild tribes, 
who compelled them to find refuge in the sides of the cliffs, 
from which they were finally driven and then disappeared. Their 
history is unknown for there are no records left and very few 
traditions that can be relied upon. The pictographs which are 
found inscribed upon the rocks furnish some hints as to their 
religious notions, customs and myths, but they give very little 
information as to their history and their migrations. It is to the 
architectural structures and the relics that we look as our chief 
sources of information and especially the structures. These vary 
in character, but as a general thing they show the influence 
of the surroundings, for their form, shape, grouping and general 
character always conform to the situation in which they are 
found. The people were long enough in the country to have 
developed a state of society and a mode of life which were pe- 
culiar, and they adopted a style of architecture which has not 
been found anywhere else on the globe. This is best known 
under the term Pueblo style but the Pueblos and cliff dwellings 
are so similar that both may be classed under the same head. 
The cliff- dwellings differ from the Pueblos only in the fact that 
they were erected in the side of the^ cliffs instead of in the val- 
leys or upon the mesas. We propose to make these archi- 
tectural works and the relics and tokens found around them 
and within them, the object of our study, and shall hope to 
ascertain the social condition, and the domestic life, of. the people 
as well as their progress. 

I The first question will be with regard to the age which 
they represent. The term age needs to be defined. Generally it 
means period which may be reckoned by years beginning 
with some fixed date. This is the use which is made of it in 
history, as the different nations have different eras which consti- 
tute the beginning of their history. The Greeks date theirs 
from the first celebration of the Olympian games, the Romans 
from the building of the city, the Hebrews from the exodus from 
Egypt, the Egyptians from the days of Menes their first Kino- 
the Persians from the birth of Zoroaster their great hero and re- 
ligious founder, the Chinese from the birth of Confucius.the Turks 
and other Mohammedans from the birth of Mohammed all 
Christian nations from the birth of Christ. There is also a' use 
of the word which is peculiar to literature, for we have the 
Homeric age, the age of the poets and philosophers the a<r e of 
Demosthenes. Later on we come to the age of the Eddas and 
the Minnesingers, the age of the Schoolmen and the Eliza- 
han age. In art also we have the age of the Greek art 
the Roman art, mediaeval art, also the age of the renaissance in 
i archaeology, however, the term signifies something quite 


different, for it is made to express the social condition, and grade 
of progress which existed during prehistoric times, as the sup- 
position is that these grades and stages followed one another in 
a regular order of succession and the index of the grades is found 
in the material of which the relics were composed, while the 
architectural structures are subordinate to the relics. Such was 
the case in Europe. In America it is different. We have here 
the same variety cf relics, some of them rude, some of them 
finely wrought but they rarely furnish any clue as to the time in 
which they were used or the age to which they belonged, as 
many of them were contemporaneous and belonged to the same 
period. There are to be sure in America certain geographical 
districts which contain a preponderence of rude relics, and others 
which present those which are highly finished. The archaeologi- 
cal map when properly made may be said to represent the differ- 
ent stages of progress and grades of society, which in Europe 
have been ascribed to the different ages, the lines here being 1 
horizontal and covering the surface of the continent, which in 
Europe are perpendicular and constitute an archaeological column. 
According to this system of classification we should place the 
cliff-dwellings high up in the scale and make the geographical 
district in which they are found represent the last age, which in 
Europe borders close upon the historic period, for the structures 
correspond to those which there immediately preceded history, 
though the relics present a lower grade, and would be ascribed 
to an earlier age. It is probable if the monumental history of 
the world were written we should find that the order of suc- 
cession would be about as follows : i. The Cave-Dwellings 
which may be divided into different classes according to the 
relics and remains which are found within them.* 2. The 
kitchen middens in which are found the debris of camps and 
the remains of animals on which people fed. 3. The barrows 
and tumuli which show the burial customs of the ancient 
people. 4. The dolmens, and chambered tombs. 5. The lake- 
dwellings which are so common in Switzerland and "crannogs" 
common in Ireland and " terramares " in the north of Italy. 6 
The burghs, towers, nirhags which are found in Scotland, Ire- 

The caves can be divided into three 'lasses the earliest containing the bones of extinct 
animals such as the rhinoceros, hippopotamus, the elephas, primigemus, cave bear, hyena 
etc., the second by the bones of the rein-deer and other arctic animals, with occasional carv- 
ings and relics which show the presence of man, the last of the cave-dwellers presenting the bones 
of the horse, the aurochs, the bos-priscos or ancient ox and other animals which became 

Perrott & Chipiez, say: "The architecture of the Aborigines of Sardinia exhibits a degree of 
originality witnessed nowhere else save in the Talagats of the Balearic Islands and the mega- 
lithic monuments of North Africa. Notwithstanding their rough and archaic character, both 
classes of structures, tombs and nirhags, show a distir.ct individuality. We are inclined to be- 
lieve that Sardinia was occupied by two distinct people, differing from and at war with each 
other. The older inhabitants were those tribes respecting, whom we know nothing except that 
th'ey were uncivilized and lived in rocky caverns. The latter were the builders of the nirhags, 
and may be called the nirhag people. These owing to the superiority of their arms and the 
solidity of their towers, were able to possess themselves of the more fruitful portions of the country' 
the early inhabitants gradually falling backward toward the centre without being pursued, for 


land and in some cases in Sardinia. 7. The structures which are 
known to history, among which are the huts similar to the one 
occupied by Romulus and Remus and such tombs as have been 
found at Mycenae and Tiryns. . 

In America we find a series which resembles these in the char- 
acter of their architecture, but all of them contemporaneous 
main resemblance between them and the monuments of Europe 
consists in the grades of progress exhibited. The series would be 
as follows I The ice-huts and Eskimo houses, also the shell 
heaps found on the north Atlantic coast. 2. The Ancient village 
sites and ash heaps which are scattered over the forests of Canada. 
3 The long houses and ancient villages of the Iroquois and the 
hunter-tribes of the greatlakes. 4. The mounds and earth works 
of the Mississippi Valley, the Ohio river and the Gulf States. 
5. The wooden houses and ancient villages of the Indians of the 
North-west coast, including the highly wrought and grotesque- 
ly carved totem poles. 6. The cliff-dwellings and Pueblos scat- 
tered through the great plateau. 7. The ruins of the ancient 
cities of Mexico and Central America in which are found the 
pyramids and temples which were erected by the civilized tribes. 

If we compare the two lists we shall find that the cliff-dwell- 
ings correspond to the towers and burghs of Europe, the pyra- 
mids in America, which are supposed to be the last of the pre- 
historic series correspond to the pyramids and temples of Egypt 
which are supposed to be the first of the historic series. 

Such is the schedule which may be laid out by the study of 
the monuments as well as the study of the relics. It prepares 
the way for the consideration of the "ages."* The division of the 
prehistoric period into three distinct ages is confirmed. There 
were " successive periods of development" in both continents 
though the " chronological horizons " which have been recog- 
nized in Europe are lacking in America.! 

II. The next inquiry will be in reference to the cliff-dwellings 
and their position among the prehistoric monuments. Our first 

they left all that was worth having in their rear. The position was changed when the nirhng 
builders were invaded by the Carthaginians. A theory might be formed that the nirhags were 
placed to defend the people, but the probability is that they became absorbed with the Cartha- 
ginians. The Sardinians were at that stage when the means of defense were deemed of greater 
importance than the creature comforts, or the amenities of life. The tenor of life of this illiterate 
people was of as rude a -iescriptipn as well can be imagined. Cities they had none. The bare, 
miserable huts which formed their villages were arranged in serrated files around the nirhags. 
A sw, a horn, a comb a bone represent the whole of their domestic implements for personal use. 
The population consisted mainly of hunters and soldiers. Their aptitude in using lead, copper 
and bronze in making their arms and implements, when compared with pottery, attest this. Had 
the Phoenicians never visited Sardinia the use of tin and bronze would have been unknown to 
the inhabitants." 

We have already seen that the prehistoric works in Europe were to be divided into several 
classes belonging to different ages, and that taking them together they constitute a series in 
which the advancement of art and architecture can be recognized. The structures of the bronze 
age are as follows : (a) the palatines or lake-dwellings which are situated in deep water, 
and contain relics of an advanced type (b) the ancient fortifications (c) circular towers, 
enclosures, etc. 

tThe parts of the European series which are lacking in America are as follows : i. The 
chambered tombs and dolmens. 2. The cromlechs standing stones and alignments. 3. The 
lake dwellings, though the last seem to have their correlatives in the sea-girt villages which have 
been discovered off the coast of Florida. V' 






thought is that they are in great contrast to the caves of Europe, 
which are the only cliff-dwellings found there, but they corres- 
pond to the cavate houses which are very numerous in the Pueb- 
lo territory and represent the same stage of architecture. 

The cliff-dwellings belong to a series which in Europe would 
be placed under the bronze age, but as no bronze was introduced 
into America they must be ascribed in common with the other 
monuments to the stone age. They, however, represent an ad- 
vanced part of the stone age and so are in contrast with the cave- 
dwellings in Europe. In fact we are obliged to place the caves 
of Europe at one extreme and the cliff-dwellings at the opposite 
extreme, and are led to believe that the whole history of human 
progress, which took place during prehistoric times, is recorded 
in the structures which were erected between these two 

There is another important point to be mentioned here. In 
Europe the monuments and relics seem to follow one another in 
the order of time, and exhibit different periods or ages. In 
America each series begins abruptly without any preceding stage. 
In fact the civilization of America, whatever it was, seems to 
have sprung, like Athene, from the head of Jupiter, fully armed. 
This has been noticed by others, as the following extract from 
Sir Wm. Dawson will show : 

"The abrupt appearance of man on this continent, his association with 
animals which beloug to the most recent quarternary period, and the en- 
tire lack of evidence that he ever associated with any of the extinct ani- 
mals, makes the contrast between the two very great. His introduction 
into Europe was at the close of the great ice age and yet mysterious revo- 
lutions of the earth occurred in that age. The continual oscillation may 
have gone on at intervals for many thousands of years ; but the last period 
of the elevation is the equivalent of the early appeal ance of man and joins 
upon the Paleolithic age. The contrast between America and Europe is 
that the Paleolithic age is left out and the geological time joins hard upon 
historic times. The real interest in the prehistoric people here, such as the 
mound-builders and cliff-dwellers, is not in their antiquity but in the fact 
that they reproduce a condition of society which immediately preceded 
history. They show to us that condition of society on which history was 
built which existed in the East two or three thousand years before the 
Christian era and perhaps five thousand years before the Discovery. Some 

All caves in Belgium, France, England, etc., which were easily accessible, and provided with 
a sufficient opening, weie inhabited. In the middle was the hearth, paved with sand-stone or 
slate, and around this the family gathered during the season of intense cold. '1 here were caves 
also, which being too much exposed to the weather, served only as a dwelling in summer. Such 
occur in the south of France, and are destitute of any traces of a hearth, though otherwise afford- 
ing the clearest evidence of having been inhabited by men. The caves in Europe which give 
the mo st evidence of having been occupied are three grottos of Les Eyzies, Laugerie, Basse and 
La Madelaine, in the department of Dordogne. The first of these is high and wide enough to 
enable the light to penetrate throughout being 12 meters deep, 16 broad, and 6 meters high; it 
appears to have been used in the middle ages as a stable for horses; \Vhen Lartet and Christie 
began their explorations, the grotto had been considerably enlarged and deepened by earlier oc- 
cupants, though the explorers found at the bottom a compact, floor, from which projected masses 
of blackish stalagmite, flint instruments, stones and pieces of bone; this bone breccia lay im- 
mediately on the rock floor of the cave, and showed a thickness of one of three decemeters. 
Large pieces were broken loose, which were sent partly io different museums, but in greater 
quantities to Paris, with a view to more exact examination. The station of Laugerie-Basse is 
partly in the hollow of a rock, whose face is 100 feet high, while a part of the formation, on which 
appeared traces of an open fireplace, extended outwardly in front of the cavern. 


imagine that this continent was inhabited by the Aborigines long before 
the beginning of history else-where, but for the present we ^ve no evidence 
to prove it. This is not denying that there may have been a paleolithic age 
in America, yet so far the evidence is unsatisfactory-lor all the relics 
which in Europe are ascribed to the three age, are here crowded into the 
single one, the Neolithic the cliff-dwellings representing the last part. 

III. This leads us to consider the relative age of the cliff-dwell- 
ings and caves. On this there seems to be a difference of opinion, 
some think the cliff-dwellings as ancient as the caves of Europe 
and ascribe to them a marvellous antiquity, while others think 
they were very modern, and were perhaps occupied after the ad- 
vent of the white men, though no relics have been discovered in 
them which would show contact with the whites, the truth lies 
probably between these two classes, for there is evidence that the 
cliff-dwellings were occupied at different periods, some of them 
very early, earlier than any of th- Pueblos, others quite late. 

We shall quote from both classes. The following is from 
Mr. W. H. Holmes, who visited and described the group of 
cave-dwellings and towers on the Rio San Juan, and furnished a 
drawing of the cliffs and of the towers above the cliffs.* 

" On examination I found them to have been shaped by the hand of 
man, but so weathered out and changed by the slow process of atmospher- 
ic erosion that the evidences of art were almost obliterated. 

"The openings are arched irregularly above, and generally quite shal- 
low, being governed very much in contour and depth by the quality of the 

" The work of excavation has not been an extremely difficult one even 
with the imperfect implements that must have been used as the shale is for 
the most part soft and friable. 

" It is also extremelv probable that they were walled up in front and 
furnished with doors and windows, yet no fragment of wall has been pre- 
served. Indeed so great has been the erosion that many of the caves have 
been almost obliterated, and are now not deep enough to give shelter to a 
bird or bat. This circumstance should be considered in reference to its 
bearing upon its antiquity. If we suppose the recess to be destroyed as six 
feet deep, the entire cliff must recede that number of feet in order to accom- 
plish it. If the rock were all of the friable quality of the middle part, this 
would indeed be a matter of a very few decades ; but it should be remem- 
bered that the upper third of the cliff face is composed of beds of compara- 
tively hard rocks, sandstones and indurated shales. It should also be noted 
still further that at the base of the cliff there is an almost total absence of 
debris or fallen rock, or even of an ordinary talus of earth ; so that the period 
that has elapsed since these houses were deserted must equal the time taken 
to undermine and break down the six feet of rock, plus the time required to 
reduce this mass of rock to dust; considering also that the erosive agents 
are here unusually weak, the resulting period would certainly not be in- 

The view given by Prof. Cope is the same as that given by 
by Mr. Holme?; he formed his opinion as to the antiquity of the 

*See Hayden's report for 1876, Bulletin Vol. i, No. i. 

"Figure 7 gives a fair representation of their present appearance of these dwellings, while 
their relations to the groups of ruins above will be understood by refeien :e to page 183. These 
rums are three in number one rectangular and two circular. The rectangular one, as indicated 
in the plan C, is placed on the edge of the mesa, over the more northern group of cave-dwellings; 
it is not of great importance, being only 34x40 feet, and scarcely 2 feet high; the walls are one 
and one-half feet thick and built of stone." 


ruins from the erosion which'was manifest, and from the evidences 
of the change of climate. This has been controverted, it is now 
held by many that the climate is exactly the same when the ruins 
and the caves were inhabited as now, but the reservoirs and 
means of storing up water, near the Pueblos, have been de- 
stroyed. The following is his language : 

"In traversing the high and dry Eocene plateau west of the bad land 
bluffs, I noticed the occurrence of crockery on the denuded hills for a dis- 
tance of many miles. Some of these localities are fifteen and twenty miles 
from the edge of the plateau, aud at least twenty-five miles from the edge 
of the Gallinas Creek, the nearest permanent water. In some of these lo- 
calities ihe summits of the hills had been corroded to a narrow keel, de- 
stroying the foundations of the former buildings. In one locality I ob- 
served inscriptions on the rocks, and other objects, which were probably the 
work of the builders of these stone towns; I give a copy of figures 
which I found on the side of a ravine near to Abiquiu on the river Chama. 
They are cut in jurrassic sandstone of medium hardness, and are quite 
worn and overgrown with the small lichen which is abundent on the face of 
the rock. I know nothing respecting their origin. It is evident that the 
region of the Gallinas was once as thickly inhabited as are now the more 
densely populated portions of the Eastern stales. The number of buildings 
in a square mile in that region is equj 1 to, if not greater than, the number 
now existing in the more densely populated rural districts of Pennsylvania 
and New Jersey. Nevertheless ir we yield to the supposition that during 
the period of residence of the ancient inhabitants the water supply from 
rains was greater than now, what evidence do we possess which bears on 
the age of that period ? There is no difference between the vegetation found 
growing in these buildings and that of the surrounding hills and valleys; 
the pines, oaks and sage brush are of the same size, and to all appearances 
of the same age. I should suppose them to be contemporary in every re- 
spect. In the next place the bad lands have undergone a definite amount 
of atmospheric erosion since the occupancy of the houses which stand on 
their summits. The rate of this erosion under present atmospheric influ- 
ence, is undoubtedly very slow. The only means which suggested itself, 
at the time, as available for estimating this rate was the calculation of the 
age of the pine trees growing near the edge of the bluffs." 

Such was the view of the early explorers. Others, however, 
have noticed the different periods of occupation. These are 
indicated by the relics and remains as well as the structures. 
Among the relics the pottery is the most suggestive. It appears' 
there were several kinds of pottery, white decorated with black 
lines, red with black geometrical designs, corrugated, indented 
plain red and plain black coarsely glazed. Of these the white 
with black lines is regarded as the most ancient as it is found 
with the most ancient remains. Many specimens of this kind of 
pottery are found in various localities, among the cliff-dwellings 
of the San Juan among the ancient ruins west of the Rio Grande, 
and among the Po treros in South Eastern New Mexico and a 
few specimens in Arizona in the Valley of the Gila. It is found 
oftener in the ruins of small houses and near the ancient caves 
or cavate houses, than among the Pueblos, thus showing that 
the caves were first occupied and preceded the Pueblos. In the 
northern section of this Pueblo territory the class of pottery is 



found which in Utah and New Mexico is characteristic of the 
small houses, but here appears associated with all kinds of rums, 
detached family dwellings, round towers, cliff-houses, villages 
built in caves and "rock-shelters." In the cliff-houses and cave- 
dwellings which line the walls of Canyon de Chelley, the black 
and white, the corrugated, the indented ware, is found, and with 
it some quite handsomely decorated, thus showing that even in 
this region there was a succession. Mr. Nordenskjold noticed 
that among the cliff-dwellings on the San Juan, the black and 
white was associated with the oldest and rudest ruins and this 
with the rude character of the foundation walls as well as the 
human remains discovered led him to believe that among the 
cliff-dwellers there were different periods of occupation and pos- 
sibly different tribes. A similar succession has been recognized 
in other parts of the Pueblo territory. Mr. Bandelier found cave- 
dwellings at the west of the Rio Grande and among the Por- 
treros, which contained many specimens of pottery of the ancient 
types, namely black and white, which show that here at least, 
there were people who made permanent homes, and that the 
small houses were not mere temporary refuges or resorts. He 

"The Potrero Chata represent two varieties of ancient architecture each 
accompanied by a distinct type of pottery. The small house ruins, of which 
the potsherds belong to the ancient kind, cannot have been mere summer 
ranches, for it is not presumable that the Indians would use one class of 
earthenware for winter and another kind in summer. Hence I consider my- 
self justified in concluding that there were two distinct epochs of occupa- 
tion. Whoever the caves stand without Pueblo ruins, in the immediate 
vicinity, they show almost exclusively the old kinds of potsherds, the black 
and white or gray and the corrugated. This would indicate that the artific- 
ial caves and the small houses belong to the same period, anterior to the 
many s'oried Pueblos. This is confirmed by another fact. While the 
buildings in this vicinitv, whether large or small, are made of blocks of 
tufa, the walls of the Pueblos seem well preserved but the small houses are 
reduced to the foundation rubbish." 

The same author speaks of the ruins of Po trero de Las Vecas 
and of the stone idols found near them. The name applied to 
the locality signified "where the panthers lie extended." He re- 
fers to the life size images of panthers which lie a few hundred 
yards west of the ruins in low woods near the foot of the cliffs. 
The age and object of the images is unknown, but the fact that 
pottery of a coarsely glazed and black and white as well as cor- 
rugated type abound near the ruins would show that they are 
ancient. They possibly were the totems of an ancient tribe 
though they have been ascribed to the Queres a tribe still 
dwelling in the region. 

Mr. Bandelier speaks of two other images of panthers which 
were situated on a mesa which rises above the Canada 304 feet 
m height. They are situated in the open space, but are in better 


condition than those on the Potrero de las Vecas as the rock on 
which they were carved is much harder, and has consequently 
resisted atmospheric erosion far better. There is a tradition 
among the Cochitis that they were made by their ancestors, who 
were the inhabitants of Kuapa, an ancient village situated about 
a mile away. They were probably the shrines of a people who 
worshiped the panthers as one of their prey Gods, very much 
as the Zunis did before the advent of the whites, and do even at 
the present day. 

Mr. W. H. Jackson also speaks of ancient cave-dwellings 
walled up circular orifices in the rock generally inaccessible, but 
approached by steps or small holes cut in the rock though the 
steps are now so worn down by the disintegrating influences of 
time that they are hardly perceptible. He speaks also of another 


" Where the ruins consist entirely of great mounds 
of rocky debris piled up in rectangular masses cover- 
ed with earth and a brush growth bearing every in- 
dication of extreme age, just how old it is about as 
impossible to tell as to say how old the rocks of this 
canyon are. Each seperate building would cover 

generally a space of about 100 feet square, they are generally subdivided 
into two or four apartments. There were no cave-dwellings' in the neigh- 
borhood of this group, but two or three miles below several occurred one 
of which is built in a huge niche in the solid wall of canyon with its floor 
level with the valley." 

"Among the ruins on the Epsom Creek within a distance of fifteen 
miles there are some sixteen or eighteen promontories and isolated mesas 


every one of them covered with ruins of old and massive stone built struc- 
tures. They average in size one hundred by two hundred feet square, down 
to thirty by fifty feet, always in a solid block, and, with one exception! so 
nearly similar that a description of one will fiirly represent all. The pe- 
culiarity here consists principally in the size and shape of the stones em- 
ployed as well as in the design of its ground plan. The ruin occupies one 
of the small isolated mesas, whose floor is composed of a distinctly lamin- 
ated sandstone, breaking into regular slabs from eighteen inches to twenty- 
four inches in thickness; these have been broken again into long blocks 
and then placed in the wall upright, the largest standing five feet above 
the soil in which they are planted. Very nearly the entire length of this 
wall is made up of the large upright blocks of even thickness, fitting close 
together, with only occasional spaces filled up with smaller rocks. In one 
place the long blocks have been pushed outward by the weight of the 
debris back of it. One side of the large square apartment in the rear is 
made of the same kind of rocks, standing in a solid row. The walls 
throughout the rest of the building are composed of ordinary sized rocks, 
with an occasional large upright one. Judging from the debris, the walls 
could not have been more than eight or ten feet in height. The foundation 
line was well preserved, enabling us to measure accurately its dimensions. 
The large square room was depressed in the centre, and its three outside 
walls contained less material than in the rest of the building. Xo sign of 
any aperture, either of window or door, could be detected. The more 
numerous class of ruins occupying the mesas and the promontory points 
consists of a solid mass of small rectangular rooms arranged without ap- 
pearance of order, conforming to the irregularities of the surface upon 
which they are built, and covering usually all the available space chosen 
for their site. All are extremely old and tumbled into indefinite ridges five 
or six feet high with the stones partially covered with sage brush, grease, 
wood and junipers. They occupied every commanding point of the me? as- 
usually so placed in the bends as to afford a clear outlook for considerable 
distances up and down the canyon. They resemble in this respect the sites 
chosen by the Moquis in building their villages ; but we were not able to 
trace the resemblance further, from the extremely aged and ruinos state 
in which these remains are found." 

IV. The relative age of the " cavate lodges" and the "cliff- 
dwellings" may well be considered in this connection. On general 
principles we might consider that the caves were the older, for 
they are ruder, and the scenery wilder yet the cliff-dwellings 
themselves were strangely enough, sometimes placed at almost 
incredible heights, and amid the wildest scenes of nature. There 
is an unwritten history in these varied structures, and there is a 
temptation oftentimes to read into them, a fabulous antiquity. 

We judge from these ruined walls and their proximity to the 
caves, as well as the character of the caves themselves, that the 
cliff-dwellers were much farther advanced than the cave-dwellers 
of Europe. Even the caves which .seem to be very old have 
ruined towers connected with them, which show much skill in 
architecture. The age of the caves is of course unknown, but it 
seems to be very considerable. 

There is another side to this subject. The caves and dwellings 
discovered by these gentlemen undoubtedly belong to an early 
period of the Pueblo's and cliff dweller's history, but there are 
also caves which were occupied at a much later date and it will 
therefore be well to examine them before we draw conclusions in 


reference to the relative age of the caves and the cliff-dwellinps. 
These are situated in the midst of the very plateau where the 
cliff-dwellings are found and probably belonged to the same peo- 
ple, and to the same age. They differ in nearly all respects from 
the caves of Europe, for they evidently belong to the neolithic 
age, and the same part of the age to which the cliff-dwellings be- 
long, but they illustrate a fact which is as common in modern as 
in ancient times. The people may have reached the same grade 
of civilization, and have followed about the same kind of life, 
using the same kind of tools, implements, utensils, and yet be 
living in very different kind of houses, inasmuch as their circum- 
stances and resources differed. In this respect prehistoric people 
were not different from historic people. It is then no evidence 
of very great age if it is proved that people lived in caves, for 
there are caves in Europe which are occupied even to this day, 
and it is supposed by many of the explorers that some of these 
caves of the far west were occupied after the cliff-dwellings. Such 
seems to be the opinion of Maj. J. W. Powell, Mr. Ad. F. Ban- 
delier, Mr, Cosmos Mendekff and others. Mr. Bandelier says : 

"Cavate lodges, cave-dwellings and cliff-dwellings are only different 
phases of the same thing. There are but three regions in the United 
States in which cavate lodges are known to occur inconsiderable numbers, 
viz.: on San Juan river, near its mouth, on the western side of the Rio 
Grande, near the Pueblo of Santa Clara; and on the eastern slope of the 
San Francisco mountain, near Flag-staff, Arizona. To these may now be 
added the Rio Verde region. Cave villages of the kind described are 
numerous, occupying an area of about three thousand square miles. They 
are merely a local feature to which the Indian was induced to resort by the 
nature of the prevailing geological formation. 1 ' 

It may be well then to study the different localities in which 
the so called cavate lodges are found and compare them with 
those where the cliff-dwellings abound. It will be seen that 
these caves or cavate lodges like the caves of Europe are in the 
midst of wild and mountainous regions, but in regions in which 
volcanic rocks are friable and so caves are easily excavated. 

The most interesting locality is that west of Santa Clara. 
Here there are two high cliffs which are visible for thirty miles ; 
their white ash-colored stone making them very conspicuous. 
One of them is called the Shufinne. A view of this rock with 
the caves dug out of it may be seen in the cut. Mr. Bandelier 
describes it in the following words : 

"Twelve miles from the Rio Grande the light colored pumice-stone and 
volcanic ashes of which the mesas are mostly formed rise in abrupt heights. 
On the north side a castle-like mesa of limited extent, detaches itself from 
the foot of the Pelado. The Tehuas call it the Shu-finne. and I have seen 
it distinctly from a distance of thirty miles. It is not the absolute height of 
the rock (I should estimate it at not over 150 feet above the mesa,) but the 
almost perfect whiteness of its precipitous sides and lower slopes against 
the dark mass of mountains that makes it so conspicuous. The perimeter 
of the Shu-finne is not very large, and its base is surrounded by cedar and 


iunioer bushes with a sprinkling of low pinon trees. Two-thirds of the 
elevation of this rock consist of a steep slope covered with debris of pum.ce 
and volcanic tufa. Along the base of the vertical upper nm small openings 
are visible which are the doorways of artificial caves. The Shu-finne con- 
tains a complete cave-village, burrowed out of the soft rock by the aid c 
stone implements." 

The Pu-ye lies lower than the Shu-finne and, as seen from it, 
the latter looms up conspicuously in the north, like a bold 
white castle. The caves extend at irregular intervals in a line 
nearly a mile long, sometimes in two, and occasionally three 
rows. They must hav been capable of harboring at least 
1000 people. In some places beams protrude from the rock, 
showing that houses have been built against it, along side of 
cave-dwellings. See plate. 

South of the Pu-ye extends a level space whose soil appears 
to be quite loamy and fertile, and on this level are traces of 
garden spots. There is little pottery about the ruins. In some 
of the enclosed spaces or garden plots, trees have grown up. 
The ruins, as well as the almost obliterated artificial caves at the 
base of the mountain, seem to be much older than cave-villages 
of the Shu-finne and Pu-ye, as some of the caves show the front 
completely worn away, leaving only arched indentations in the 
rock. There seem to be vestiges of two distinct epochs 
marked by two different architectural types, artificial caves and 
communal Pueblos built in the open air. 

"The ascent to the caves is tedious, for the slope is steep, and it is tire- 
some to clamber over the fragments of pumice and tufa that cover it. 
Once above we find ourselves before small doorways, both low and narrow, 
mostly irregularly oval. I measured a number of the cells and found their 
height to vary from i Aj (4 feet 10 inches) to 2.03 m. (6 feet 8 inches.) Most 
of them, however, were over 5 feet high. The outer wall was usually 0.30111. 
thick like most of the Pueblo walls. I noticed little air-holes and also 
lo^p-holes in the outer walls, but no fire-places, although as Mr. Stevenson 
a'so observed, the evidences of fire are plain in almost every room. There 
is another locality of artificial cave-dwellings only three miles distant from 
Shu-finne called Pu-ye. It is also a mesa of pumice rock, and rows of 
p'ne partly cover the summit, and quite a large Pueblo ruin whose walls of 
pumice rise to a height of two stories and cover the top of the cliff. There 
was also a level platform all along the base of the vertical declivity, wide 
enough at one time to afford room for at least one cell if the rock were used 
as a rear wall. This rock is soft and friable, and can easily be dug into by 
means of sharp and hard substances, such as obsidian and flint. The vol- 
canic formation of the mountain affords sufficient quantities c f both materi- 
als, but chiefly of obsidian. Basalt chisels rudely made have also been 
found in connection with the caves. That the caves are wholly artificial 
admits of no doubt, and it was in fact easier for the Indian to scrape out 
his dwellings than to build the Pueblo whose ruins crown the summit of the 
cliff. Since Mr. J. Stevenson examined the Puye, in 1880, the locality has 
been frequently visited and but few specimens of broken objects are ob- 
tainab e. I refer to the catalogue published by the Bureau of Ethnology for 
a description of the collections made on the spot by Mr. Stevenson in 1880. 
Mr. Eldodt has in his possession several valuable specimens from the Pu- 
ye. These relics have nothing to distinguish thm from those found in 
Puehlo ruins in general, but the pottery is not so well derorated as that of 
Ojo Caliente an \ Rito Colorado. Fragments of a coirsely glazed variety 
are very abundant, and I know of but one specimen of incised ware found 


These houses are comparatively modern but illustrate the development of 

architecture; First, Cave-Houses ; Second, Cliff-Dwellings ; 

Third, Pueblos. 


These houses were discovered by Mr. W. H. Holmes, in the San Juan 

Valley. They filled the niches in the rock but connected with 

one another and constituted an abode for a 

family or a clan. 


at or about the artificial caves. The vertical wall in which the caves have 
been excavated varies in height. In places it might be only six meters 
(twenty-five feet); in others it attains as many as sixteen (fifty feet.) The 
incline on the other hand is twenty meters (sixty-five feet), on the western 
and as many as fiftv meters (one hundred and sixty feet) on the eastern 
end. As the denuded faces of the cliff are those of the south and east, it 
follows that the caves extend around it from the southwestern to the north- 
eastern corner, forming a row of openings along the base of the vertical 
wall. On the whole, the interior of these cells resembles that of a Pueblo 
room now of ancient type. There are even the holes where poles were 
fastened, on which hides, articles of dress, or dance ornaments were hung, 
as is still the custom of the Pueblo Indians. In one room I noticed what 
may have been a stone frame for the metates. The interior chambers may 
have been used for store-rooms, or the largest of them may have also served 
as dormitories. Every feature of a Pueblo household is found in connection 
with these caves. They form a pueblo in the rock, and there are also a 
number of estufas. The cave-houses and the highest Pueblo appear to have 
been in days long previous to the coming of the Europeans the homes of a 
portion of the Tehua tribe whose remnants now inhabit the village of Santa 
Clara. The country south of this interesting spot abounds in artificial caves. 
In nearly every gorge the cliffs show traces of such abodes. The country 
west of the Rio Grande in the vicinity of the Rito de los Frijoles abounds 
with caves which were abandoned at the time of the Spanish invasion. The 
cave dwellings of the Rito are very much like those already described. 
The caves themselves are poor in relics except those of the upper tiers. It 
appears that where the cliffs rise vertically, terraced houses were built using 
the rock for the rear wall.*. These are one, two and even three stories 
high and leaned against the cliff. Sometimes the upper story consisted of 
a cave and the lower of a building." 

The country west of the Rio Grande, in the vicinity of the 
Rito de los Frijoles is v/ild, with deep canyons traversing it 
like gashes cut parallel to each other from west to east. They 
are mostly several hundred feet in depth, and in places ap- 
proaching a thousand. On the northern walls, facing the 
south or east, caves, usually much ruined are met with, in al- 
most every one of them. There are also several pueblo ruins 
on the mesas, about which I have only learned from the Indians 
that they were Tehua villages, and that their construction, oc- 
cupation and abandonment antedate perhaps by many centuries 
the times of Spanish colonization. 

Another locality is mentioned by Mr. Bandelier and is il- 
lustrated by the plate. 

Almost opposite San Idlefonso begins the deep and pictur- 
esque cleft through which the Rio Grande has forced its way. 
It is called "Canyon Blanco," "Canyon del Norte," or "White 
Rock Canyon. " Towering masses of lava, basalt and trap form 
its eastern walls; while on the west these formations are cap- 
ped, a short distance from the river, by soft pumice and tufa. 

Major Powell also speaks of cave-houses which were con- 
structed in the midst of the extinct craters of San Francisco 
mountain. He says: 

"In the walls of this crater many caves are found, and here again a vil- 
lage was established, the caves in the scoria being utilized as habitations of 

The plate opposite page 30 accompanying this chapter illustrates the point. The Caves at 
Shufinne and the Cliff-Houses at Rio de Chelly have houses leaning against tbe Cliff. 


men. These little caves were fashioned into rooms of more symmetry and 
convenience than originally found, and the openings of the caves were 
walled. Nor did these people neglect the gods, for in can von and craters 
of this plateau were utilized in like munner as homes for tribal people, and 
in one cave far to the south a fine collection of several hundred pieces ot 
pottery has been made," 

Major Powell speaks of Indians who built pueblos some- 
times of the red sandstones in canyons and ofterier of blocks 
of tufa. He says this material can be worked with great ease 
and with crude tools. Of the harder lava they cut out blocks 
and built pueblos two and three stories high. The blocks are 
usually 20 inches in length, 8 inches in width and (> inches in 
thickness. These Indians left their pueblos on the plateau 
where the Navajo invasion came, and constructed cavate homes 
for themselves that is they excavated chambers on the cliffs 
which were composed of tnfa. On the face of the cliff hundreds 
of feet high and even miles in length, they dug out chambers 
with their stone tools, these chambers being little rooms eight or 
ten feet in diameter. Sometimes two or more such chambers 
connected. Then they constructed stairways in the soft rock, 
by which their cavate houses were reached; and in these rock 
shelters they lived during times of war. Mr. M tndeltff speaks 
of caves and cavate lodges which are near boulder sites, and 
old irrigating ditches on the Rio Verde and Limestone Creek. 
Here the almost entire absence of cliff-dwellings and the great 
abundance of cavate lodges is noticeable ; the geogra; hical 
formation being favorable to caves and unfavorable to cliff- 
dwellings, whereas on the Canyon de Chelly there are hundreds 
of cliff-dwellings and;no cave-lodges. This is accounted for as 
an accident of environment where the conditions are reversed. 
He says : 

"The relation of these lodges to the village ruins and the character of 
the sites occupied by them, supports the conclusion that they were farming 
out-posts, probably occupied only during the farming season according to 
the methods followed by many of the Pueblos today, and that the defensive 
motive had little or no influence on the selection of the site or the character 
of the structures. The boulder-marked sites and the small single-room re- 
mams illustrate other phases of the same horticultural methods, methods 
somewhat resembling the "intensive culture," of modern agriculture, but re-- 
quiring further a close supervision or watching of the crop during the peri- 
od of ripening. As the area of tillable land in the Pueblo region, especially 
in its western part is limited, these requirements have developed a class of 
temporary structures, occupied only during the farming season. In Tusay- 
an, where the most primitive architecture of the Pueblo type is found, these 
structures are generally of brush; in Canon de Chelly they are cliff -dwell- 
ings; on the Rio Verde they are cavate lodges, boulder-marked sites and 
single house remains; but at Zuni they have reached their highest develop- 
ment in the three summer villages of Ojo Caliente, Nutria and Pescado." 

Mr. B.andelier speaks of caves and cavate houses on the 
upper Gila and of others in Chihuahua. In both of these 
localities the region is wild and mountainous, just such as we 
would naturally expect to find occupied by cave-dwellers. 


Description of this Cliff-Fortress is given on page 220. 


They resembled in this respect the home of the Troglodgytes 
in Europe. 

Sacrificial caves, and spots sacred as shrines are quite nu- 
merous on, and about, Thunder Mountain, and a host of legends 
and folk tales cluster around the towering Table Rock. There 
are also pictographs and symbols near the caves and cliff- 
dwellings of the San Juan and the west of the Rio Grande; but 
these cave-lodges seem to be destitute of them, showing that 
they were only temporary places of refuge. Concealment was 
one object. The following is the description of the cavate 
houses on the Upper Gila: 

"These buildings occupy four caverns, the second of which towards the 
east is ten meters high. The western cave communicates with the otht rs 
only from the outside, while the three eastern ones are separated by huge 
pillars behind which are natural passages from one cave to the other. The 
height of the floor above the bed of the creek is fifty five meters, and the 
ascent is steep, in some places barely passable. To one coming from the 
mouth of the cliff the caves become visible only after he has passed them. 
so that they are well concealed. Higher up the several branches through 
whose union the Gila River is formed, cave-houses and cave-villages are 
not uncommon. Mr. Henshaw has published the description of one situ- 
ated on Diamond Creek, to which description I refer. As the gorges become 
wilder and the expanses of tillable land disappear, the tocks and cliffs weie 
resorted to as retreats and refuges. Whether the cave-dwellings and cliff- 
houses were occupied previous to the open-air villages along the Mimbres, 
or whether they were the last refuges of tribes driven from their homes in 
valley, it is of course not possible to surmise." 

According to Mr. Bandelier the cave-dwellings are to be 
found as far south as the Casas Grandes in Chihuahua. There 
seems to have been a variety of structures, some of them very 
elaborate and bearing the type of architecture which is com- 
mon in Mexico, others very rude, scarcely any better than that 
which the wild Indians would construct. The region is moun- 
tainous and so was occupied by different tribes, the Apaches 
having made it a resort. The following is a description of the 

"The so-called Puerto de San Diego, a very picturesque mountain pass, 
ascends steadily for a distance of five or six miles. On its northern side 
rise towering slopes, the crests of which are overgrown with pines. In the 
south a ridge of great elevation terminates in crags and pinnacles. The 
traU winds upward in a cleft, and is bordered by thickets consisting of oak, 
smaller pines, cedars, mezcalagava and tall yucca. As we rise the view 
spreads out towards the southeast and east, and fiom the crest the plain 
below and the valley of Casas Grandes, with bald mountains beyond, appear 
like atopographical map. Turning to the west, a few steps carry us into 
lofty pine woods, where the view is shut in by stately trees surrounding us 
on all sides. The air is cool; deep silence re gns; we are in the solitudes of 
the eastern Sierra Madre. These mountains fastnesses are well adapted to 
the residence of small clusters of agricultural Indians seeking for security. 
I therefore neither saw nor hesrd of ruins of larger villages, but cave- 
dwellings were frequently spoken of. Some very remarkable ones are said 
to exist near the Piedras Yerdes, about two day's journeying from Casas 
Grandes. I saw only the cave-dwellings on the Arroyo del Nombre de 
Dios, not far from its junction with the Arroyo de los Pilares. They lie 
about thirty-five to forty miles southwest of Casas-Grandes. The arroyo 
flows through a pretty vale lined on its south side by stately pines, behind 


which picturesque rocks rise in pillars, crags and towers. The rock is a 
reddish breccia or conglomerate. Many caves, large and small, though 
mostly small, open in the walls of these cliffs, which are not high, measur- 
ing nowhere over two hundred feet above the level of the valley. The 
dwellings are contained in the most spacious of these cavities, which lie 
about two miles from the outlet of the arroyo. They are so well concealed 
that, along the banks of the stream, it is easy to pass by without seeing 

The point which we make is this, that while the cliff-dwell- 
ings differ from the cavate lodges in many respects yet they 
are in 'the strongest contrast with the European caves while 
they belong to the same age with the lake-dwellings and the 
towers and nirhages,and show about the same style of architec- 
ture, and exhibit the same grade of advancement and prove the 
position which was taken at the outset, that the cliff-dwellers 
marked one extreme of social progress and the cave-dwellers 
or troglodytes of Europe marked the other, and the whole 
series of prehistoric structures and relics may be embraced be- 
tween them. 

We see from this that the caves and cave-houses and cliff- 
dwellings were widely distributed and numerous, but they dif- 
fer very materially from the caves of Europe. If there were no 
other proof of this it would be enough to examine the cut which 
represent the cliff-dwellings situated in the Canyon de Chelley, 
and compare it with the cuts which represent the caves of 
Europe. This cliff-dwelling was first discovered by Lieut J. H. 
Simpson in 1849 a d has been often visited and described by 
other explorers. It well represents its class. If we take the 
series of cuts given with this paper and compare the caves of 
Europe on one side with the cavate lodges and the cliff-dwell- 
ings on the other, we shall find the difference between the 
European caves and the cliff-dwelings in America. 





There are two distinct portions of the basin of the Colorado, 
a desert portion below and a plateau above. The lower third, or 
desert portion of the basin, is but little above the level of the sea, 
though here and there, ranges of mountains rise to an altitude 
of from 3,000 to 6,000 feet. This part of the valley is bounded 
on the northeast by a line of cliffs which present a bold, often 
vertical step, hundreds or thousands of teet, to the table lands 
above. On the California side a vast desert stretches westward, 
past the head of the Gulf of California, nearly to the shore of 
the Pacific. Between the desert and the sea a narrow belt of 
valley, hill, and mountain of wonderful beauty is found. Over 
this coastal zone there falls a balm distilled from the great ocean, 
as gentle showers and refreshing dews bathe the land. When 
rains come the emerald hills laugh with delight as bourgeoning 
bloom is spread in the sunlight. When the rains have ceased 
all the verdure turns to gold. Then slowly the hills are brinded 
until the rains come again, when verdure and bloom again peer 
through the tawny wreck oi last years's greenery. North of the 
Gulf of California the desert is known as "Coahuila Valley," the 
most desolate region on the continent. 

On the Arizona side of the river, desert plains are interrupted 
by desert mountains. Far to the eastward the country rises 
until the Sierra Madre are reached in New Mexico, where these 
mountains divide the waters of the Colorado from the Rio Grande 
del Norte. Here in New Mexico the Gila River has its source. 
Some of its tributaries rise in the mountains to the south, in the 
territory belonging to the Republic of Mexico; but the Gila 
gathers the greater part of its waters from a great plateau on the 
northeast. Its sources are everywhere in pine-clad mountains and 
plateaus, but all of the affluents quickly descend into the desert 
valley below, through which the Gila winds its way westward to 
the Colorado. In times of continued drought the bed of the Gila 
is dry, but the region is subject to great and violent storms, and 
floods roll down from the heights with marvelous precipitation, 
carrying devastation on their way. 

Where the Colorado River forms the boundary between Califor- 
nia and Arizona it cuts through a number of volcanic rocks by 
black, yawning canons. Between these canons the river has a 

*This chapter was written by Major J. W. Powell, and first printed in the Canyons i,l 
the Colorado. 


low but rather narrow flood plain, with cottonwood groves scat- 
tered here and there, and a chaparral of mesquite, bearing beans 
and thorns. 

The region of country lying on either side of the Colorado 
for 600 miles of its course above the gulf, stretching to'Coahuila 
Valley below on the west, and to the highlands, where the Gila 
heads, on the east, is one of singular characteristics. The plains 
and valleys are low, arid, hot, and naked, and the volcanic 
mountains scattered here and there are lone and desolate. 
During the long months the sun pours its heat upon the rocks 
and sands, untempered by clouds above or forest shades beneath. 
The springs are so few in number that their names are house- 
hold words in every Indian rancheria, and every settler's home; 
as there are no brooks, no creeks, and no rivers but the trunk 
of the Colorado and the trunk of the Gila. 

The desert valley of the Colorado, which has been described 
as distinct from the plateau region above, is the home of many 
Indian tribes. Away up at the sources of the Gila, where the 
pines and cedars stand, and where creeks and valleys are found, 
is a part of the Apache land. These tribes extend far south into 
the Republic of Mexico. The Apaches are intruders in this 
country, having at some time, perhaps many centuries ago, 
migrated from British America. They speak the Athapascan 
language. The Apaches and Navajos are the American Bedouins. 
On their way from the far north they left several colonies in 
Washington, Oregon, and California. They came to the country 
on foot, but since the Spanish invasion they have become skilled 
horsemen. They are wily warriors and implacable enemies, 
feared by all other tribes. They are hunters, warriors, and 
priests, these professions not yet being differentiated. The cliffs 
of the region have many caves, in which these people perform 
their religious rites. The Sierra Madre formerly supported 
abundant game, and the little Sonora deer was common. Bears 
and mountain lions were once found in great numbers, and they 
put the courage and prowess of the Apaches to a severe test. 
Huge rattlesnakes are common, and the rattlesnake god is one 
of the deities of the tribes. 

The low desert, with its desolate mountains, which has thus 
been described, is plainly separated from the upper region ot 
plateau by the Mogollon Escarpment, which, beginning in the 
Sierre Madre of New Mexico, extend northwestward across the 
Colorado far into Utah, where it ends on the margin of the 
great basin. See Plate. 

The rise by this escarpment varies from 3,000 to more than 
4,000 feet. The step from the lowlands to the highlands, which 
is here called the Mogollon Escarpment, is not a simple line of 
cliffs, but is a complicated and irregular facade presented to the 
southwest. Its different portions have been named by the 


people living below, as distinct mountains, as Shiwits Mountains, 
Mogollon Mountains, Final Mountains, Sierra Calitro, etc., but 
they all rise to the summit of the same great plateau region. 

This high region on the east, north and west, is set with ranges 
of snow-clad mountains attaining an altitude above the sea varying 
from 8,000 to 14,000 feet. All winter long snow falls on its moun- 
tain-crested rim, filling the gorges, half burying the forests, and 
covering the crags and peaks with a mantle woven by the winds 
from the waves of the sea. When the summer sun corres this 
snow melts and tumbles down the mountain sides in millions of 
cascades. A million cascade brooks unite to form a thousand 
torrent creeks; a thousand torrent creeks unite to form half a hun- 
dred rivers beset with cataracts; half a hundred roaring rivers unite 
to form the Colorado, which rolls, a mad, turbid stream, into the 
Gulf of California. Consider the action of one of these streams. 
Its source is in the mountains, where the snow falls; its course 
through the arid plains. Now, if at the river's flood, storms were 
falling on the plains, its channel would be cut but little faster than 
the adjacent country would be washed, and the general level would 
thus be preserved; but under the conditions here mentioned the 
fiver continually deepens its beds; so all the streams cut deeper 
and still deeper, until their banks are towering cliffs of solid rock. 
These deep, narrow gorges are called canons. For more than a 
thousand miles along its course the Colorado has cut for itself such 
a-canon; but at some few points, where lateral streams join it, the 
canon is broken and these narrow, transverse valleys divide into 
a series of canons. The Virgen, Kanab, Paria, Escalante, Fre- 
mont, San Rafael, Price and Uinta on the west, the Grand, White, 
Yampa, San Juan and Colorado Chiquito on the east, have also cut 
for themselves such narrow, winding gorges, or deep canons. 
Every river entering these has cut another canyon; every lateral 
creek has cut a canon; every brook runs in a canon; every rill 
born of shower and born again of a shower and living only during 
these showers, has cut for itself a canon; so that the whole upper 
portion of the basin of the Colorado is traversed by a labyrinth of 
these deep gorges. 

After the canons, the most remarkable features of the country 
are the long lines of cliffs. These are bold escarpments scores or 
hundreds of miles in length, great geographic steps, often 
hundreds or thousands of feet in altitude, presenting steep 
faces of rock, often vertical. Having climbed one of these 
steps, you may descend by a gentle, sometimes imperceptible, 
slope to the foot of another. They thus present a series of ter- 
races, the steps of which are well defined escarpments of rock. 
The lateral extension of such a line of cliffs is usually very 
irregular; sharp salients are projected on the plains below, 
and deep recesses are cut into the terraces above. Intermittent 
streams coming down the cliffs have cut many canons or canon 



villages, by which the traveler may pass from the plain below to 
the terrace above. By these gigantic stairways he may ascend 
to high plateaus, covered with forests of pine and fir. 

From the Grand Canon ot the Colorado a great plateau 
extends southeastward through Arizona nearly to the line of 
New Mexico, where this elevated land merges into the Sierra 
Madre. The general surface of this plateau is from 6,000 to 
8,000 feet above the level of the sea. Various tributaries of the 
Gila have their sources in this escarpment, and before entering the 
desolate valley below they run in beautiful canons which they 
have carved for themselves in the margin of the plateau. Some- 
times these canons are in the sandstones and limestones, which 

Mums at the Head of MuElino Canyon. 

constitute the platform of the great elevated region called the 
San Francisco Plateau. The escarpment is caused by a fault, the 
great block of the upper side being lifted several thousand feet 
above the valley region. Through the fissure lavas poured out, 
and in many places the escarpment is concealed by sheets of lava.' 
The canons in these lava beds are often of great interest. On the 
plateau a number of volcanic mountains are found, and black 
cinder cones are scattered in profusion. 

Through the forest lands are many beautiful prairies and glades 
that in midsummer are decked with gorgeous wild flowers. The 
rams of the region give source to few perennial streams, but 
intermittent streams have carved deep gorges in the plateau, so 
that it is divided into many blocks. The upper surface, although 
forest clad and covered with beautiful grasses, is almost destitute 
of water. A few springs are found; but they are far apart, and 
some of the volcanic craters hold lakelets. The limestone and 


basaltic rocks sometimes hold pools of water; and where the 
basins are deep the waters are perennial. Such pools are known 
as "water pockets." 

This is the great timber region of Arizona. Not many years 
ago it was a vast park for elk, deer, antelope and bears, and 
mountain lions were abundant. This is the last home of the 
wild turkey in the United States, for they are still found here in 
great numbers. San Francisco Peak is the highest of these vol- 
canic mountains, and about it are grouped in an irregular way 
many volcanic cones, one of which presents some remarkable 
characteristics. A portion of the cone is of bright reddish cin- 
ders, while the adjacent rocks are of black basalt. The contrast 
in the colors is so great that on viewing the mountain from a 
distance the red cinders seem to be on fire. From this circum- 
stance the cone has been named Sunset Peak. When distant from 
it ten or twenty miles it is hard to believe that the effect is pro- 
duced by contrasting colors, for the peak seems to glow with a 
light of its own. A few miles south of San Francisco Peak 
there is an intermittent stream known as Walnut Creek. This 
stream runs in a deep gorge, 600 to 800 feet below the general 
surface. The stream has cut its way through the limestone and 
through a series of sandstones, and bold walls of rock are pre- 
sented on either side. East of San Francisco Peak there is 
another low volcanic cone, composed of ashes which have been 
slightly cemented by the processes of time, but which can be 
worked with great ease. On this cone another tribe of Indians 
made its village. For the purpose they sunk shafts into the 
easily worked, but partially consolidated ashes, and after pene- 
trating from the surface three or four feet they enlarged the 
chambers so as to make them ten or twelve feet in diameter. In 
such a chamber they made a little fire-place, its chimney running 
up on one side of the well-hole by which the chamber was 
entered. Often they excavated smaller chambers connected with 
the larger, so that sometimes two, three, four or even five smaller 
connecting chambers are grouped about a large central room. 
The arts of these people resembled those of the people who 
dwelt in Walnut canon. One thing more is worthy of special 
notice. On the very top of the cone they cleared off a space 
for a court-yard, or assembly square, and about it they erected 
booths, and within the square a space of ground was prepared 
with a smooth floor, on which they performed the ceremonies of 
their religion and danced to the gods in prayer and praise. 

The Little Colorado is a marvelous river. In seasons of great 
rains it is a broad but shallow torrent of mud; in seasons of 
drought it dwindles, and sometimes entirely disappears along 
portions of its course. The upper tributaries usually run in 
beautiful box canons. Then the river flows through a low, des- 
olate, bad-land valley, and the river of mud is broad but shallow, 


except in seasons of great floods. But fifty miles or more above 
the junction of this stream with the Colorado River proper, it 
plunges into a canon with limestone walls, and steadily this 
canon increases in depth, until, at the mouth of the stream it 
has walls more than 4,000 feet in height. This valley of the 
Little Colorado is also the site of many ruins, and the villages 
or towns found in such profusion were of much larger size than 
those on the San Francisco Plateau. Some of the pueblo-build- 
ing peoples still remain. The Zuni Indians still occupy their 
homes, and they prove to be a most interesting people. They 
have cultivated the soil from time immemorial. They build 
their houses of stone, and line them with plaster; and they have 
many interesting arts, being skilled potters and deft weavers. 
The seasons are about equally divided between labor, worship, 
and play. 

A hundred miles to the northwest of the Zuni pueblo are the 
seven pueblos of Tusayan : Oraibi, Shumopavi, Shupaulovi, 
Mashonemavi, Sichumovi, Walpi, and Hano. These towns are 
built on high cliffs. The people speak a language radically 
different from that of the Zuni, but, with the exception of that 
ot the inhabitants of Hano, closely allied to that of the Utes. 
The people of Hano are Tewans, whose ancestors moved from 
the Rio Grande to Tusayan during the great Pueblo revolt 
against Spanish authority in 1680-96. In these mountains, 
plateaux, mesas, and canons, the Navajo Indians have their home. 
The Navajos are intruders in this country. They belong to the 
Athapascan stock of British America and speak an Athapascan 
language, tike the Apaches of the Sierra Madre country. They 
are a stately, athletic, and bold people. While yet this country 
was a part of Mexico they acquired great herds of horses and 
flocks of sheep, and lived in opulence compared with many ot 
the other tribes of North America. 

Perhaps the. most interesting ruins of America are found in 
this region. The ancient pueblos found here are of superior 
structure, but they were all built by a people whom the Navajos 
displaced when they migrated from the far north. Wherever 
there is water, near by an ancient ruin may be fo'und, and these 
ruins are gathered about centers, the centers being larger pueb- 
los and the scattered ruins representing single houses. The 
ancient people lived in villages, or pueblos, but during the grow- 
ing. season they scattered about by the springs and streams to 
cultivate the soil by irrigation, and wherever there was a little 
farm or garden patch, there was built a summer house of stone. 
When times of war came, especially when they were invaded by 
the Navajos, these ancient people left their homes in the pueblos 
and by the streams, and constructed temporary homes in the 
cliffs and canon walls. Such cliff ruins are abundant through- 
out the region. Ultimately the ancient pueblo peoples sue- 











cumbed to the prowess of the Navajos and were driven out. A 
part joined related tribes in the valley of the Rio Grande; others 
joined the Zuni and the people of Tusayan ; and still others 
pushed on beyond the Little Colorado to the San Francisco 
Plateau and far down into the valley of the Gila. 

Farther to the east, on the border of the region which we 
have described, beyond the drainage of the Little Colorado and 
San Juan and within the drainage of the Rio Grande, there lies 
an interesting plateau region, which forms a part of the Plateau 
Province and which is worthy of description. This is the great 
Tewan Plateau, which carries several groups of mountains. The 
plateau itself is intersected with many deep, narrow canons, 
having walls of lava, volcanic dust, or tufa, and red sandstone. 
It is a beautiful region. The low mesas on every side are almost 
treeless and are everywhere deserts, but the great Tewan Plateau 
is booned with abundant rains, and it is thus a region of forests 
and meadows, divided into blocks by deep and precipitous 
canyons and crowned with cones that rise to an altitude of from 
10,000 to 12,000 feet. For many centuries the Tewan Plateau, 
with its canons below and its meadows and forests above, has 
been the home of tribes of Tewan Indians, who built pueblos, 
sometimes of red sandstones, in the canons, but often of blocks 
of tufa, or volcanic dust. This light material can be worked 
with great ease, and with crude tools of the harder lavas they 
cut out blocks of the tufa and with them built pueblos two or 
three stories high. The blocks are usually about twenty inches 
in length, eight inches in width and six inches in thickness, 
though they vary somewhat in size. On the volcanic cones 
which dominate the country these people built shrines and wor- 
shiped their gods with offerings of meal and water and with 
prayer and symbols made of the plumage of the birds of the air. 

When the Navajo invasion was long past, civilized men, as 
Spanish invaders, entered this country from Mexico, and again 
the Tewan people left their homes on the mesas and by the 
canons to find safety in the cavate dwellings of the cliffs; and now 
the archaeologist in the study of this country discovers these 
two periods of construction and occupation of the cave dwellings 
of the Tewan Indians. 

To the east of this plateau region, with its mesas and buttes 
and its volcanic mountains, stand the southern Rocky Mountains, 
or Park Mountains, a system of north and south ranges. These 
ranges are huge billows in the crust of the earth, out of which 
mountains have been carved. The parks of Colorado are great 
valley basins enclosed by these ranges and over their surfaces 
moss agates are scattered. The mountains are covered with 
dense forests and are rugged and wild. The hi-gher peaks rise 
above the timber line and are naked gorges of rocks. In them 
the Platte and Arkansas rivers head and flow eastward to join 


the Missouri river. Here also heads the Rio Grande del Norte, 
which flows southward into the Gulf of Mexico, and still to the 
west head many streams which pour.into the Colorado waters, 
destined to the Gulf of California. Throughout all this region 
drained by the Grand, White, and Yampa rivers, there are many 
beautiful parks. The great mountain slopes are still covered with 
primeval forests. Springs, brooks, rivers, and lakes abound, and 
the waters are filled with trout. Not many years ago the hills 
were covered with game elks on the mountains, deer on the 
plateaus, antelope in the valleys, and beavers building their 
cities on the streams. The plateaus are covered with low, 
dwarf oaks and many shrubs bearing berries, and in the chap- 
arral of this region cinnamon bears are still abundant. From 
time immemorial the region drained by the Grand, White and 
Yampa rivers has been the home of Ute tribes of the 
Shoshonean family of Indians. These Indians built their 
shelters of boughs and bark, and to some extent lived in tents 
made of the skins of animals. They never cultivated the soil, 
but gathered wild seeds and roots and were famous hunters and 
fishermen. As the region abounds in game, these tribes have 
always been well clad in skins and furs. The men wore blouses, 
loincloth, leggins and moccasins, and the women dressed in short 
kilts. It is curious to notice the effect which the contact of 
civilization has had upon these women's dress. Even twenty 
years ago they had lengthened their skirts, and dresses made of 
buckskin, fringed with furs and beaded with elk teeth were worn 
so long that they trailed on the ground. Neither men nor 
women wore any head dress except on festival occasions for 
decorations, then the women wore little basket bonnets deco- 
rated with feathers, and the men wore headdresses made of the 
skins of ducks, geese, eagles, and other large birds. Sometimes 
they would prepare the skin of the head of the elk or deep, or of 
a bear or mountain lion or wolf, for a head dress. For very cold 
weather both men and women were provided with togas for their 
protection. Sometimes the men would have a bearskin or elk- 
skin for a toga; more often they made their togas by piecing 
together the skins of wolves, mountain lions, wolverines, wild 
cats, beavers and otters. The women sometimes made theirs of 
fawnskins, but rabbitskin robes were far more common. These 
rabbitskins were tanned with the fur on and cut into strips, then 
cords were made of the fiber of wild flax or yucca plants and 
round these cords the strips of rabbitskin were rolled so that 
they made long ropes of rabbitskin coils with a central cord of 
vegetal fiber. 

The Ute Indians, like the Indians of North America, have a 

wealth of mythic stories. The heroes of these stories are the 

easts, birds and reptiles of the region, and the themes of the 

bories are the doings of these mythic beasts the ancients from 

From *' Canyons of the Colorado.' 1 '' Flood & Vincent, Meadvi le, Pa. 




whom the present animals have descended and degenerated. 
The primeval animals were wonderfnl beings, as related in the 
the lore of the Utes. They were the creators and controllers of 
all the phenomena of nature known to these simple-minded peo- 
ple. The Utes were zootheists. Each little tribe has its Sha- 
man, or medicine man, who is the historian, priest and doctor. 
The lore of this Shaman is composed of mythic tales of ancient 

The Indians are skillful actors and they represent the parts of 
beasts or reptiles, wearing masks and imitating the ancient zoic 
gods. In temples walled with gloom of night and illumed by 
torch fires the people gather about their Shaman, who tells and 
acts the stories of creation recorded in their traditional .bible. 
When fever prostrates one of the tribe the Shaman gathers the 
actors about the striken man and with wierd dancing, wild 
ululation and ectatic exhortation the evil spirit is driven from the 
body. Then they have their ceremonies to pray for the forest 
fruits, for abundant game, for successful hunting and for prosperity 
in war. 

The stupendous cliffs by which the plateaus are bounded are 
are of indescribable grandeaur and beauty. The cliffs bound- 
ing the Kaibab plateau descend on either side and this is the 
cultimating portion of the region. All the other plateaus are 
terraces, with cliffs ascending on the one side and descending on 
the other. Some of the tables carry dead volcanoes on their 
backs that are towering mountains, and all of them are dissected 
by canyons that are gorges of profound depth. But every one 
of these plateaus has characteristics peculiar to itself and is 
worthy of its own chapter. On the north there is a pair of 
plateaus, twins in age but very distinct in development, the 
Paunsagunt and Markagunt. They are separated by the Sevier 
river, which flows northward. 

On the terraced plateaus three tribes of Indians are found : 
The Shiwits ("the people of the springs"), the Uinkarets ("peo- 
ple of the pine mountains"), and the Unkakaniguts ("people of 
the red lands, who dwell along the Vermilion cliffs"). They are 
all Utes, and belong to a confederacy with other tribes living 
farther to the north, in Utah. These people live in shelters made 
of boughs piled up in circles and covered with juniper bark, 
supported by poles. These little houses are only large enough 
for half a dozen persons huddling together in sleep. Their 
aboriginal clothing was very scant, the most important being 
wild cat skin and wolf skin robes for the men, and rabbit skin 
for the women, though for occasions of festival they had clothing 
of tanned deer and antelope skins, often decorated with fantastic 
ornaments of snake skins, feathers, and the tails of squirrels and 
chipmunks. A great variety ot seeds and roots furnish their food, 
and on higher plateaus there is much game, especially deer and 


antelope. But the whole country abounds with rabbits, which 
are often killed with arrows and caught in snares. 

Every year they have great hunts, when scores of rabbits are 
killed in a single day. It is managed in this way : They make 
nets of the fiber of the wild flax and of some other plant, the 
meshes of which are about an inch across. These nets are 
about three and one-half feet in width and hundreds of yards in 

The Kanab River, heading in the pine cliffs, runs directly 
southward and joins the Colorado in the heart of the Grande 
Canon. Its way is through a series of canons. From one of 
these it emerges at the foot of the Vermilion cliffs, and here 
stood one extensive ruin not many years ago. Some portions 
of the pueblo were three stories high. The structure was one of 
the best found in this land of ruins. The Mormon people settling 
here have used the stones of the old pueblo in building their 
homes, and now no vestiges of the ancient structure remain. 
A few miles below the town other ruins were found. They were 
scattered to Pipe's Springs, a point twenty miles to the westward. 
Ruins were also discovered up the stream as far as the Pink 
cliffs, and eastward along the Vermilion cliffs nearly to the 
Colorado River, and out on the margin of the Kanab plateau. 
These were all ruins of outstanding habitations belonging to the 
Kanab pueblo. From the study of the existing pueblos found 
elsewhere, and from extensive study of the ruins, it seems that 
everywhere tribal pueblos were built of considerable dimensions, 
usually to give shelter to several hundred people. 








In writing the history of the explorations which led to the 
discovery of the pueblos and cliff- dwellings, we shall have to 
go back to the time when Narvaez was wrecked upon the Florida 
coast. This occurred in the year 1528, near Tampa Bay. Those 
of the party who were not drowned remained on an island or 
on the mainland for six years, and endured from the Indians the 
greatest indignities. At length, four of them three Spaniards 
and a negro under the lead of Cabeza de Vaca, escaped, and 
took their flight towards the mountains of Northern Alabama.* 
Thence their course was westerly across the Mississippi, "the 
great river coming from the north," across the Arkansas River 
to the headwaters of the Canadian, and thence southwesterly 
through New Mexico and Arizona to Culiacan, or Sonora, which 
they reached in the spring of 1536. Culiacan was a province 
which had been visited by the Spaniards under Nuno de Guz- 
man, and a colony settled there. f When these fugitives arrived 
at Culiacan they told marvelous stories concerning the things 
which they had seen and heard; and, among other things, they 
mentioned the great and powerful cities, which contained houses 
of four and five stories, thus confirming the report of the Indian 
slave. When these tales were communicated to the new gov- 
ernor, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, in his home in Mexico, 
he set out with haste to the province of Culiacan, taking with 
him three Franciscan friars.J whom he dispatched with the negro 
Estevanico on a journey of discovery, with orders to return and 
report to him all they could ascertain about the "seven celebrated 
cities." The monks, when they came near the province, sent 
the negro in advance The negro, however, as soon as he 
reached the country of the " seven cities of Cibola," demanded 
not only their wealth, but their women. The inhabitants, not 
relishing this, killed him and sent back all those who had accom- 
panied him. This disheartened the monks, and they returned 

*The names of the Spaniards were Alvsr Nunez, Cabeza de Vaca, Andres Dorantcs 
and Alonzo del Castillo Maldonado, and that of the negro was Estevanico (Stephen). 

f'The occasion of visiting this province was the report which was brought by an 
Indian, a slave, that there were somewhere north of Mexico, cities, seven in number, as 

tary map of the United States and as given in ihe map by General Simpson, are placed 
along the east coast of the Gulf of California. 

f The name of one of the priests was Marcos de Nica, commonly called Friar Marcos. 
Castaneda's Relations are the sources of information about the journey. 

The place which the monks visited and where the negro was killed has been identitied 
by F. W. Hodge. See American Anthropologist. 


to Culiacan; but in their report to Coronado they gave a glowing 
description of all that had been discovered of the seven cities, 
as well as of the "islands filled with treasure, which they were 
assured existed in the Southern Sea." 

Arriving at Mexico, the friars proclaimed, through their pul- 
pits, the marvelous discoveries, and Coronado busied himself 
with preparing an expedition to the region. Many gentlemen 
of good family were enlisted, and probably there had not been an 
expedition in which there was such a large proportion of persons 
of noble birth. It was also arranged that two vessels should 
take supplies and follow the army along the coast of the "South- 
ern Sea." The army reached Culiacan, which was the last town 
inhabited by the Spaniards, and was two hundred and ten 
leagues from the City of Mexico. After resting a couple of 
weeks, Coronado led 'the advance of his army, consisting of 
fifty cavaliers, a few infantry, his particular friends and the 
monks, leaving the rest of the army to follow two weeks after. 
Passing out of the inhabited region, he came at the edge of a 
great desert, to a place called Chichilticale, and could not suppress 
his sadness at what he saw. The place of which so much had 
been boasted was only a ruined, and roofless house, which at one 
time seemed to have been fortified and was built of red earth.* 

In this connection it may be interesting to give an account of 
the discovery of the Rio Colorado. It will be remembered that 
the vessels were ordered to follow the march of the army along 
the coast of the Southern Sea. The vessels put to sea from La 
Nativitad on May 9, 1540. They put into the ports of Xalisco 
and Culiacan, but finding Coronado and his army gone, they 
sailed northwardly until they entered the Gulf of California, 
which they experienced great difficulty in navigating. After in- 
credible hardships they managed to get the vessels to the end of 
the gulf, where they found "a very great river, and the current of 
which was so rapid that they could scarcely stem it." Taking 
two shallops with some guns they commenced the ascent of the 
river by hauling the boats with ropes.f 

*This was the work of civilized people who had "come from afar." It has been thought 
by some to be Casa Grande on the Gila a building which is far famed because it represents 
one class of structures which was common in this region and was supposed to have belonged 
to the ancient Pima Indians, who formerly built pueblos, but of a different type from those 
which were inhabited by the Moquis and Zunis. Mr. A. F. Bandelier thinks that the red 
house may possibly have been Casa Grande, though the ruin is perfectly white at present. He 
says that this kind of village includes a much larger and more substantial structure. It 
grows more conspicuous as we ascend the course of the Otonto Creek. It consists of a 
central building, into which, in some cases, all the buildings are merged; sometimes en- 
closed by broad quadrangular walls, while transverse walls connect the enclosure with a 
central hill. In some cases there are indications that the house was erected on an artificial 
platform. He says that the Pimas claim all the ruins north of the Gila to the "Superstition 
Range" as those of their own people. 

tThe region at the mouth of the Colorado is a flat expanse of mud, and the channels at 
the entrance from the gulf are shifting and changeable. The navigation is rendered 
periodically dangerous by the strength of the spring tides. Fort Yuma is 150 miles from 
the mouth, and to this point the principle obstructions are sand bars. Above Fort Yuma 
for 180 miles the river passes through a chain of hills and mountains, forming gorges and 
canons. There are many swift rapids and dangerous sunken rocks. The Black Canon is 
twenty-five miles long. 


The general, Fernando Alarcon, reached a point on the river 
as far north as about the 34, where he planted a cross and de- 
posited letters at the foot of a tree, which were afterwards found 
by Melchior Diaz.* This discovery of the Gulf of California 
and the Colorado River is important, for it is connected closely 
with the discovery of "the seven cities." The same river was 
reached by a party consisting of twelve men, under Don Garci 
Lopez, who were sent out by Coronado after his return to Cibola. 
Alter a journey of twenty days through the desert they reached 
the river, whose banks were so high ''they thought themselves 
elevated three or four leagues in the air." "Their efforts to 
descend were all made in vain." 

On quitting the Gila they entered the desert and at the end 
of fifteen days came within eight leagues of Cibola. There the 
first Indians of the country were discovered. On the following 
day they entered the inhabited country, but as the army came 
in sight of the village they broke forth into maledictions. The 
following is Castaneda's description of the place: 

Cibola is built on a rock and this village is so small that in truth there 
are many farms in New Spain that make a better appearance. It may con- 
tain two hundred warriors. The houses are built in three or four stories; 
they are small, not spacious and have no courts, as a single court serves 
for a whole quarter. The inhabitants of the province were united there. It 
is composed of seven towns, some of which are larger and better fortified 
than Cibola. These Indians, ranged in good order, awaited us at some dis- 
tance from the village. They were very loth to accept peace; when they 
were required to do so by our interpreters, they menaced us by their gestures. 
Shouting our war cry of Sant lago, we charged upon and quickly caused 
them to fly. Nevertheless, it was necessary to get possession of Cibola, 
which was no easy achievement, for the road leading to it was both narrow 
and winding. The general was knocked down by the blow of a stone as he 
mounted in the assault, and he would have been slain had it not been for 
Garci Lopez de Cardenas and Hernando d'Alvarado, who threw themselves 
before him and received the blows of the stones which were designed for 
him and fell in large numbers; nevertheless, as it was impossible to resist the 
first impetuous charge of Spaniards, the village was gained in less than an 
hour. It was found filled with provisions, which were much needed, and, 
in a short time, the whole province was forced to accept peace." 

From Cibola the general sent out Alvarado with twenty men, 
who, "five days after, arrived at a village named Acuco." 

"This village was strongly posted, inasmuch as it was reached by only 
one path, and was built upon a rock precipitous on all its other sides, and 
at such a height that the ball from an arquebuse could scarcely reach its 
summit. It was entered by a stairway cut bv the hand of man, which began 
at the bottom of the declivitous rock and led up to the village. This stair- 
way was of suitable width for the first two hundred steps, but after these 
there were a hundred more much narrower, and when the top was finally to 

*.Melchior Diaz, who had been left at Sonora. placed himself at the head of twenty-five 
men, under the lead of guides, and followed up the coast one hundred and fifty leagues, 
until he arrived at the river called Rio del Tizon. whose mouth was two leagues wide. He 
reached the spot fifteen leagues from its mouth and found the tree marked by Alarcon, dug 
and found the letters. The party crossed the Rio del Tizon on rafts and turned toward the 
southeast, thus going around the Gulf of California. No ruins were discovered by this 
party. The spot which this party reached was much nearer its source than where Melchior 
Diaz had crossed, though the Indians were the same which Diaz had seen. 


be reached it was necessary to scramble up the three last steps by placing 
the feet in holes scraped in the rock, and as the ascender could scarcely 
make the point of his toe enter them he was forced to cling to the precipice 
with his hands. On the summit there was a great arsenal of huge stones, 
which the defenders, without exposing themselves, could roll down on the 
assailants, so that no army, no matter what its strength might be, could 
force this passage. There was on the top a sufficient space of ground to 
cultivate and store a large supply of corn, as well as cisterns to contain 
water and snow." 

Three days' journey thence Alvarado reached a province 
called Tiguex, where he was received very kindly, and was so 
well pleased that he sent a messenger to Coronado inviting him 
to winter there. Five days' journey thence Alvarado reached 
Cicuye (Pecos), a village very strongly fortified, whose houses 
had four stories. "Here he fell in with an Indian slave, who was 
a native of the country adjacent to Florida, the interior of which 
Ferdinan de Soto had lately explored." The Indian, whom 
they called the Turk, spoke of certain large towns and of large 
stores of gold and silver in his country and also the country of 
the bisons. Alvarado took him as a guide to the bison country, 
and after he had seen a few of them he returned to Tiguex, the 
Rio Grande, to give an account of the news to Coronado. 

While the discoveries above mentioned were being made, some 
Indians, living seventy leagues toward the east arrived at Cibola. 
They offered gifts of tanned skins, shields and helmets, and 
spoke of the cows whose skins were covered with a frizzled hair 
resembling wool, showing they were buffaloes. 

Coronado, who had remained at Cibola, hearing of a province 
composed of eight towns, took with him thirty of the most 
hardy of his men and set out to visit it on his way to Tiguex or 
Rio Grande. In eight or eleven days he reached the province 
called Tutahaco, which appears to have been situated below the 
city of Tiguex. The eight villages comprising this province 
were not like those of Cibola, built of stone, bat of earth. He 
learned of other villages still further down the river. In the 
meantime the army moved from Cibola toward Tiguex. The 
first day they reached the handsomest and largest village in the 
province, where they lodged. "There they found houses of 
seven stories, which were seen nowhere else. These belonged 
to private individuals and served as fortresses. They rise so far 
above the others that they have the appearance of towers. There 
are embrasures and loop-holes from which lances may be thrown 
and the place defended. As all these villages have no streets, 
all the roofs are flat and common for all the inhabitants; it is 
therefore necessary first of all to take possession of those houses 
which serve as defenses." 

The army passed near the Great Rock of Acuco (Acoma), 
already described, where they were well received by the inhabit- 
ants of the city perched on its summit. Finally it reached 


Tiguex, where it was well recieved and lodged. It was found, 
however, that the whole province was in open revolt, and the 
army was obliged to lay siege to the city and capture it anew. 
After the siege the general dispatched the captain to Cia, which 
was a large and populous village four leagues west of the Rio 
Grande. Six other Spaniards went to Quirix, a province com- 
posed of seven villages All these villages were at length 
tranquilized by the assiduous efforts of the Spaniards. The 
army spent the winter here, but early in the next season, May, 
1541, they took up the march to Quivira in search of the gold 
and silver which the Turk said could be found there. The 
route was via Cicuye (Pecos), twenty-five leagues distant. After 
leaving Cicuye (Pecos) and crossing some mountains they reached 
a large and deep river which passed near to Cicuye, and was 
therefore called the Rio de Cicuye (Pecos). Here they were de- 
layed four days to build a bridge. Ten days after, on their march, 
they discovered some tents of tanned buffalo skins inhabited by 
Indians who were called Querechaos. 

Continuing their march in a northeasterly direction they came 
to a village which Cabeaa de Vaca had passed on his way from 
Florida to Mexico. The army met with and killed an incredible 
number of buffaloes ; but reached a point 850 miles from Tiguex. 
Here, the provisions giving out, Coronado with thirty horsemen 
and six foot soldiers continued his march in search of Quivira, 
while the rest of the army returned. The guides conducted the 
general to Quivira in forty-eight days. Here they found neither 
gold nor silver, though the Cacique wore on his breast a copper 
plate, of which he made a great parade. The army, on its re- 
turn from the prairies, came to four large villages and reached a 
place where the river plunged beneath the ground. In the 
beginning of 1542 Coronado returned by the way of Cibola and 
Chichilticale to Culiacan, and finally reached the City of Mexico. 

Thus ended the great expedition which for extent and distance 
traveled, duration in time (more than two years) and for the 
multitude of its discoveries, and the many branch explorations, 
excelled any land expedition that has been undertaken in 
modern times. 

It was the first expedition which was ever led into the south- 
west interior, but did more to bring to light the wonderful vil- 
lages or pueblos located there than any other that has ever taken 
place. To us the narrative of the expedition is of very great 
value, for it reveals the exact condition of the country as it was 
three hundred and fifty years ago. It is to be remembered that 
this expedition took place less than fifty years after the discovery 
and only fifteen years after the expedition by Ferdinan de Soto, 
and eighty years before the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers. It 
resulted in disappointment to the leaders, for they had expected 
to find cities filled with gold, similar to those which had been 


discovered by Gortez in Mexico and by Pizarro in Peru; but, 
instead, they found solitary buildings in ruins, and such villages 
as were inhabited were situated on barren rocks, and were per- 
fectly destitute of gold or silver or the precious metals. The 
region which they went so far to reach was inhabited by wild 
tribes, who dwelt in huts or wigwams, and chased the buffalo 
for subsistence. 

There were two motives which ruled the Spaniards wherever 
they went the thirst for gold and the conversion of the natives. 
The thirst for gold was not satisfied, but the opportunity for 
christianizing the Indians was great. So the country continued to 
be occupied by the Spanish missionaries. From this time on, 
the history is one of missions rather than of discovery or con- 
quest, though there were various military expeditions and many 
fierce battles. The revolts of the natives against the dominion 
of the priests required the presence of armed hosts, and only 
ended, with the subjugation of the people by military force. 
New Mexico was brought altogether under Spanish rule by Juan 
de Onate in 1595. In 1680 the natives threw off the yoke, 
but were again subdued fifteen years later. The archives of the 
missions were destroyed in the revolt, and the history previous 
to that date is only known in outline. The diaries kept after 
this date show that the authors visited many of the ruins which 
have attracted the attention of later explorers, and also that they 
found many of the towns inhabited which now exist only as ruins. 

We shall not dwell further upon the history of the region, 
nor shall we at the present time speak of the discoveries which 
have taken place since the region came into the possession of 
the United States government; but shall proceed at once to the 
question whether these various localities visited by the Spaniards 
under Coronado can be identified. This is an important ques- 
tion, for it brin'gs out the changes which have occurred in three 
hundred and fifty years, and at the same time throws light upon 
the relative age of the different ruins. 

I. We shall first speak of the distribution of the pueblos. 
On this point we shall quote the words of Dr. Washington 
Matthews, who long resided at Fort Wingate, and is familiar 
with the whole region. He says: "Along the great Cordillera 
of the American Continent, on both sides of the equator, from 
Wyoming to Chili extends a land abounding in ancient ruins. 
A large part of this land lies in the boundary of the United 
States. It contains the Territory of Arizona, most of Utah, more 
than half of New Mexico, extensive parts of the states of Colo- 
rado and Nevada, with small portions of Texas and California. 
The great rivers which drain it into the ocean are the Colorado on 
the west, and the Rio Grande on the east; the former flowing 
toward the Pacific, the latter toward the Atlantic. It is an arid 
region, but not an absolute desert, for there is no part of it on 


which rain does not fall some time during every year, but it is 
on the high mountains only that it descends abundantly, while 
on the lower levels the moisture is scanty, and irrigation is nec- 
essary to successful agriculture. The ruins have been known to 
the world for three centuries and a half; they have been in the 
possession of the United States for over forty years. Yet it is 
only within the past few years that any attempt at systematic 
exploration or excavation has been made among them.* 

A. F. Bandelier says : "The northern limits of the House-build- 
ers remains yet to be definitely established. Taos seems to be 
the northernmost Pueblo. The eastern limits seem to be the 
meridian of the Pecos River; the western, the great Colorado, 
and the dismal shores of the Gulf of California ; the southern 
limits, the ruins found in southern Colorado and in southern 
Utah. Within the area thus defined the villages were scattered 
very irregularly, and in fact their inhabitants occupied and used 
but a small quantity of the ground. Extensive desert tracks 
often separated the groups and these spaces were open to the 
roving Indians, who prowled in and about the settlements much 
to the detriment ot the inhabitants. Thus, Acoma, is separated 
from the Zuni group by at last seventy miles of waste, and the 
Navajos raided over this space at will, endangering communica- 
tions from the Tehuas, while both tribes were some distance 
away from the Rio Grande and the side valley. From Acoma 
to the Rio Grande another forty miles of desert intervened. Be- 
tween the latter and Tiguex the uninhabited region is from 
thirty to forty miles, and here the Apaches could lurk and assault 
at any time. A desert stretch of twenty miles separated the 
pueblo of Picuries from the Tahuas ; and a stretch of thirty 
miles separated them from Taos. Twenty-seven miles to the 
southwest of Santa Fe is Cochiti, and three miles east of the 
stream is the old pueblo of Santa Domingo; on the same side 
but directly on the river bank stood Katishtya. the antecessor 
of the present Felipe. Farther west on the Jemez River the 
Queres inhabited several sites. Here was a cluster of the Cia 
towns, and northwest of Cia began the range of the Jemez who 
inhabited a number of pueblos along -the Jemez River.f The 
Pueblos, far from being masters of New Mexico previous to the 
coming of the Spaniards, were hemmed in and hampered on 
all S'des by tribes which were swift in their movements, and 
had a great advantage over the Pueblos in number. 

It must not be supposed that the area indicated is uniformly 
covered, for there are many districts utterly devoid of ruins. 

*See Seventh Memoir National Academy of Science. Vol. VI. Human Bones of the Hem- 
einvay Collection, by Dr. Washington Matthews, U. S. A. Introduction p. 142. 

T'l'he total number of pueblos, as stated in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, does 
not at all agree with that number as it stands at the present time. It is much larger and 
varies from forty-six (Escalante, from reports at the time of the rebellion,) to over one hun- 
dred. (Onate, in the Acts ef Submission of 1598.) 


Very few are found in the high forests, for it is useless to look 
for ruins at an altitude exceeding 8,000 feet climate, lack of 
space for cultivation, together with the steepness of slopes for- 
bid. The lower limits of the ruins seem mostly dependent on 
natural features. On the side of Arizona, but not on the sea- 
coast the ruins ascend within 1,000 feet of the sea level. There 
are said to be traces of the succession of ruins along the Canadian 
River far across the great plains."* 

"There is nothing in the natural resources of New Mexico that 
could maintain a large number of people whose industrial means 
of support were those which belonged to the "stone age." The 
water supply of the territory is remarkably scant, and, while the 
Indian knew and used springs which the present settler is 
sometimes unacquainted with, the value of such springs was not 
very great. They might suffice for the wants of one or a few 
families, some times for a small village. To such watering 
places the Indian was limited, outside of the river bottoms of 
larger streams. But the larger streams are few and far between, 
and only portions of their course are suitable for cultivation. 
Only the Rio Grande, the San Juan, the Chama. parts of the 
Pecos, Jemez, Puerco and Upper Gila irrigate large valleys."f 

Mr. L. H. Morgan says that "New Mexico is a poor coun- 
try for civilized man, but quite well adapted to the sedentary 
Indians, who cultivated about one acre out of every hundred 
thousand. This region and the San Juan immediately north of 
it possessed a number of narrow, fertile valleys, containing 
together possibly 50,000 inhabitants, and it is occupied now by 
their descendants (excepting the San Juan) in manner and form 
as it was then. The region is favorable to the communistic mode 
of life, cultivation of the soil by irrigation being a necessity." 

The disappointment of the Spaniards, who came from the 
mountain city and were familiar with the luxuriant growth of 
the southern coasts, and found this region so destitute of forests 
and so silent and lonely, must have been great, for it was a new 
experience to them. So it is with every one who traverses the 
region. The scenery is entirely different from that which pre- 
vails elsewhere, and the life is as different as the scenery. 

As to the age of the pueblos very little can be said. One sup- 
position is that the people formerly dwelt in one-story houses, 
which were clustered together in a circle with a court in the cen- 
ter, something like those in Arizona Territory, which Bandelier 
says has the "checker-board" appearance; but the attack of the 
wild tribes, which were the Navajos and Apaches, compelled 

*The plains of San Augustine in Southwestern New Mexico, the plateau of the Natanes 
in Eastern Arizona, the hanks of the Rio Grande from the San Louis Valley to the end of 
the gorge appear not 19 have been settled in ancient times. 

tA line from Taos in the extreme north as far south as where San Marcial now stands, 
makes a length of nearly 230 miles; from east to west they spread f om longitude ic* %>', 
( laos and Pecos) to nearly 110 30*. (the Moqui villages.) Lieut. Simpson makes the dis- 
tance east and west 360 miles. (See Final Report, Part I., p. 119.) 


them to build their houses in terraces, making them resemble 
modern flats, except that the lower stories were closed. The 
upper stories were reached by ladders, each story having a ter- 
race or platform in front of it. The relative age of the Pueblos 
and Cliff-dwellers is a mere matter of conjecture. Some think 
the Cliff-dwellers the older; others regard them as later, though 
no cliff-dwelling has yet been found occupied. It is a common 
impression that the pueblos are all very ancient; but recent in- 
vestigations have proved the contrary. The majority of the 
pueblos which were visited were occupied, and were probably 
built by the people who dwelt in them, but their history could not 
be carried back to a certainty more than five or six hundred 
years.* The buildings which are now standing, and are at 
present occupied, are not the ones visited by the Spaniards. 
The villages have been moved and new structures have been 
erected several times over during the three hundred and fifty 
years which have elapsed, though they are in the same vicinity 
and their architecture and mode of life may be very similar. 
This makes it more difficult to identify the exact spots which 
were visited of which we have the descriptions, though it gives 
us a better idea of the people and the persistency of their cus- 
toms, if we take the later accounts and compare them with the 

II. Taking the localities through which the Spaniards passed, 
let us now see how many of the ruins can be identified. We 
shall begin with the place called Chichilticalli. The question is 
whether Casa Grande was actually the building which was 
reached. On this point we shall quote first from Father Font, 
who saw it in 1775, and says it was known by the name of 
Montezuma, and was one league from the Rio Gila. "The Casa 
Grande, or palace of Montezuma, must have been built five hun- 
dred years previously (in the thirteenth century), if we are to 
believe the accounts given by the Indians; for it appears to have 
been constructed by the Mexicans at the epoch of their emigra- 
tion when the devil, conducting them through different countries, 
led them to the promised land of Mexico." This was the Span- 
ish conception of the ruins. 

Various American travelers have visited this region Emory 
and Johnson in 1846, Bartlett in 1852, Ross Brown in 1863, 
Leroux in 1854, Bandelier in 1880-1885, F. H. Gushing and 
Washington Matthews in 1887. Emory's description is as follows: 

It was the remains of a three story mud house sixty feet square, pierced 
for doors and windows. The whole interior of the house bad been burnt 
out and the walls much defaced. The site of the house is flat on all sides; 
and the ruins of the houses which compose the town extend more than a 

* Certain pueblos were mentioned to Frav Marcos of Ni/a, under the name of Toton- 
teac, a Zuni term applied to a cluster of twelve pueblos lying in the direction of Mociuis. 
which were abandoned before the sixteenth century, but the reminiscence of which still re- 
mained in the name. ee Bandelier, Vol. Ill, Part I, p. 114. 


league toward the east. All the land is partially covered with pieces of 
pots jugs and plates painted in different colors white, blue and red very 
different from the work of the Pimas. The house forms an oblong square 
facing exactly the four cardinal points; and round about there are rums in- 
dicating a fence or wall, which surrounded it. In the corners there appears 
to have been some edifice like a castle or watch tower. The interior of the 
house consists of five halls three middle ones of one size, twenty-six feet 
by ten feet; the extreme ones longer, thirty-eight feet by twelve feet; all 
eleven feet high. The inner doors are of equal size, two feet by five feet; 
the outer doors are double width. The inner walls are four feet thick; the 
outer walls six feet thick. All of the building is of earth, and according to 
appearances is built in boxes or moulds of different sizes. A trench leads 
from the river at a great distance, by which the town is supplied with water. 
It is now nearly buried up. The house is seventy feet from north to south, 
and fifty from east to west. The interior walls are four feet in thickness; 
they are well constructed; the interior walls are six feet thick. The edifice 
is constructed of earth, in blocks of different thickness and has three 
stories. We found no traces of stairways. We think they must have been 
burnt when the Apaches burnt this edifice."* 

Bandelier describes Casa Grande and the cities adjoining, as 
well as the canals. He says : 

" The careful study of documents is indispensable for successful explor- 
ation of the antiquities of the country. Numerous notices of ruined villages 
are scattered throughout the voluminous archives of Spanish rule in the 
Southwest. I will refer here only to the descriptions of the Casa Grande 
by Father Kino and Father Sedelmair; of the Casa Grande, by Rivera; 
Northwestern New Mexico, by Father Escalante. Their descriptions, 
dating back, enables us to restore much in these edifices to which their 
present conditions gives no clue." 

"Between Casa Grande and Florence the distance eastward is nine long 
miles, and the country shows no change. Several ancient irrigating ditches 
are seen on the road, some of which are quite deep. Nowhere did I notice 
any trace of a lining or casing, as at Tule; the raised backs or rims seemed 
to be only of the soil. Ruins in scattered clusters are numerous, all of the 
same character. In one place I found an elliptical tank almost as large as 
the one at Casa Grande and presenting a similar appearance. Wherever 
walls protruded the walls were the same, only thinner. This may be due 
to the fact that that they were merely partitions, and that I nowhere could 
measure the outer ones, which have crumbled. In ehort, from Casa Blanca 
in the west and probably some distance beyond a 1'ne of ruins extends 
to east of Florence, and probably as far as Riverside, or a stretch of more 
than sixty miles. These ruins, however, do not reach very far inland^ 
although some are scattered throughout Papagneria. At this day Casa 
Grande shows two stories with vertical walls on all four sides, and from the 
center rises a third story like a low tower. Whether the latter originally 
extended over tbe whole building or not, I am unable to determine." 

Dr. Washington Matthews' account is more complete and 
full, and includes many new localities. It appears that the Hem- 
enway Expedition arrived in the valley of the Salt River, a trib- 
utary of the Gila. in Arizona, and began excavating some stone 
ruins on the uplands, but were attracted by some earth mounds 
on the flood. The result was the discovery of an extensive col- 
lection of habitations a city it might be called some six miles 
in length and from half a mile to a mile in width. The mound 

, *N tesof a military reconnoissance made by Lieutenant Colonel William A. Emory, 
Corps of Topographical Engineers, in 1846-47, with the advance guard of the Army of the 


proved to be the debris of a great earthen house, of many stories 
and many chambers, and analagous in structure to the still- 
standing Casa Grande, before referred to, which is distant from 
the mound to the southeast less than thirty-five miles in a direct 
line. In the course of excavation at this place so many skele- 
tons were found under the floors of the houses that Mr. Gushing 
devised for it the Spanish name of Pueblo de los Muertos, or, 
briefly, Los Muertos, the town of the dead; and this name was 
retained for it, although he subsequently found other ruined 
cities in the vicinity where skeletons were as common as here. 

The party discovered the remains of six other large cities 
within ten miles. Of these three were named : First, Los 
Acequias. from the number, size and appearance of the old can- 
als or irrigated ditches through which the inhabitants conducted 
water to their fields ; second, Los Hornos, the ovens, Irom the 
number of earthen ovens found there; third, Los Guanacos, be- 
cause in it were found small terra-cotta images of animals 
thought to resemble the llama of South America. In these 
ruined cities the remains of buildings like the Casa Grande were 
found. They were of four kinds : I, temples; 2, estufas; 3, com- 
munal houses; 4, ultramural houses. Of the temples there was 
only one to each city and this was centrally located; though in 
one of the cities there were seven such buildings, the largest of 
which was in the center. Each building was surrounded by a 
high wall from five to ten feet thick. The lower story of each 
was divided into six departments, which were used as store 
rooms for the priests. The other stories were used as priestly 
residences. The entire building served as a fortress in times ot 

The sun temples, or estufas, were built of earth on a great 
basket frame of hurdles, elliptical in shape, were roofed with a 
dome made of spiralling, contracting coils of reeds, which were 
heavily covered on the outside with mud, and resembling an 
elongated terra cotta bowl inverted, reminding one ot the Mormon 
temple. The dimensions were about 150 feet in width, 200 feet 
in length. The floor within was elevated so as to form a sort of 
ampitheater. It is thought that in these buildings public rites 
of the esoteric societies were performed, as they were in close 
proximity to the priests' dwelling. 

The communal houses were the principal dwelling places. 
They were built of mud without the hurdles. These contained 
many ruins on the ground floor and are thought to have been 

*Dr. Washington Matthews speaks of figures inscribed on the rocks representing ani- 
mals which resemble the Llamas of Peru and hunters throwing lassos at them These inav 
possibly have been elks, for they are associated with other animals with horns like the deer, 
and there is no evidence that the people knew anything about the Llamas. There are tur- 
keys inscribed upon the rocks. These were probably the domestic fowls, for tame turkeys 
were common among the pueblos. 

*This illustrates the superstition ut the six houses of the sky: 4 for the cardinal 
points; 2 for the zenith and nadir, 


the homes of separate clans. Each was surrounded by a high 
earthen wall and" generally by a separate canal or acequia. Each 
had its single appropriate water reservoir with a branch canal 
leading into it, its own separate Pyral mound, or place of crema- 
tion, and its one great underground oven for the preparation of 
food. In Los Muertos at least fifty of these great buildings were 

The ultra mural houses were small low huts made of sticks 
and reeds, and were situated outside the limits of the earthen 
houses and formed separate groups, Each contained a central 
fire-place. In one place they constituted a town of considerable 
size, which contained a sun temple, but no priest temple. They 
may have belonged to the Pimas or some later modern tribes.* 

The acequias or irrigating canals are noteworthy. The explor- 
ers in the Salado Valley have traced over one hundred and fifty 
miles of the larger canals. They varied in width from ten to 
thirty feet; and in depth from three to twelve feet. Their banks 
were terraced in such a form as to secure a central current. This 
device was to facilitate navigation; and it is thought that the 
canals were used not only for irrigation, but for the transporta- 
tion of the produce of the fields and of the great timbers from 
the mountains which the people must have needed in the con- 
struction of their tall temples and other houses. 

In various parts of our arid region the old Indian canals may 
be still easily traced where they are cut through hard soil or 
where they are so exposed and situated with regard to the pre- 
vailing winds, that the sand is blown out of them rather than 
drifted into them. There are places in Arizona where the Amer- 
ican settlers utilize old canals for wagon roads. But in most 
cases the canals have been filled with sand and clay to the level 
of the surrounding soil, and, to the ordinary observer, no vestige 
of them remains. Yet, Mr. Gushing, guided by his knowledge 
of a custom which exists among the Zuni Indians, was able to 
trace the course of thesft obliterated channels. The ancients con- 
structed great reservoirs to store the excessive water when the 
river was high. The present occupants have no such works. 
The canals of the moderns follow straight lines; those of the 
ancients were tortuous. In the old canals the tall was about one 
foot to the mile, in the new it is two feet to the mile. The 
ancient people used the water to a greater advantage than the 
moderns and covered a wider territory with their system. A 
Mormon community made use of the prehistoric cut and saved 
$20,000 by this means. The ancient people had also a system 

*Mr. Bandelier speaks of the enclosures found apart from the houses, rectangular 
spaces surrounded by upright small stones. The Pima Indians assert that these were 
garden-beds. They are now very numerous in Arizona. He says that the scattered re- 
mains of permanent villages with artificial tanks, mounds of houses constructed of marl- 
sometimes more than one story high met here and there are evidences of a period of rela- 
tive quiet that has long sine disappeared; though he thinks the Pimas may have built 
these canals. The Yumas and the Papagoes continue to occupy the region. 


of rainwater irrigation. For conserving the waters of the sudden 
rains on the mountains and hills the people built dams m the 
ravines and large reservoirs in the neighboring foot hills. From 
these reservoirs the waters were allowed to flow gradually over 

the fields. 

III. The groups which have always gone by the name ot seven 
cities of Cibola" will next be considered. The description given 
by Friar Marcos de Nizza is the first one. It dates back to 1 5 38. 
There has been some discussion as to which one of the seven 
cities he saw. He did not enter any of the pueblos, but the 
principal men led him to a place where he could see Cibola from 
afar. His description is as follows. "Cibola lies in a plain on a 
slope of a round height. Its appearance is very good for settle- 
ment the best that I have seen in these parts. The houses are 
as the Indians told me all of stone with their stones and flat 
roof. As far as I could see from a height where I placed myself 
to observe I could see that the city was larger than the City of 
Mexico itself. The Indian guides reiterated the statement that 
the village now in view was the smallest one of the seven ; and 
that Totonteac (Tusayan) was much more important than the 
so-called seven cities. Here he raised a wooden cross,* naming 
the new land the New Kingdom of Saint Francis, and turned 
back with much more fright than food." 

The latest description is the one given by Victor Mindelefi, of 
the Ethnological Bureau, who says: "It has been the custom to 
give the name of Old Zuni to a group of small and ruined 
pueblos which lie at the summit of the great mesa called by the 
Indians Thunder Mountain, Ta-a-ya-la-na, and that the six vil- 
lages on that formidable height were the original ones of the 
Zunis. This much is certain, that it was the place of refuge 
the citadel or safety place of the Zuni, the center of many re- 
ligious performances, and the object of many myths. Three 
times, according to the records, did the Zuni flee to the plateau 
of this gigantic mesa within the course of two centuries. Each 
time they were induced to return to the valley below in a peace- 
able manner. This Thunder Mountain rises to the height of 
one thousand feet above the plain, and is almost inaccessible. 
There are two foot trails, each of which in places traverses abrupt 
slopes of sandstone where holes have been pecked into the rock. 
From the northeast side the summit of the mesa can be reached 
by a tortuous burrow trail. All the rest of the mesa is too abrupt 

* Bandelier thinks that Klakima was the place where the negro was'killed and where 
Niza erected the cross. This has been disputed by Hod?e, who thinks that Kuikawkuk 

w as the first-discovered city of Cibola. The early Spanish names of the towns are Maca- 
quia (Masaki), Coquimo (K.'iakima), Aquico (Hawikuh), Canabi (Kianawe), and Alona 
(Halona). (See American Anthropologist Vol. VIII No. 2, P. 142-149,) 

The following names are given by Mr. Gushing and by Mr. Bandelier: Halona on the 
site of the present one, Kiakima, south of the gigantic mesa, Matzaki; north of the same 
mesa, the place where the negro, Estevan, was killed; Pianaua, three miles south of the 
actual Zuni; Huhauien, Zuni hot springs; Chanahue, the same vicinity. Bandelier Vol. Ill, 
Part i P. 133. 


to be scaled. The top of the mesa was an irregular figure, one 
mile in width, and surrounded on all sides by perpendicular 

"The narrative of Castaneda describes Cibola as built on a rock. 
The road leading to it was both narrow and winding. It was 
no easy achievement to get possession of it. The village of 
Zuni, as it now stands, is built upon a small knoll on the bank oi 
the Zuni river, three miles west of the conspicuous Mesa. It is 
the successor of all the original seven cities of Cibola, and is the 
largest of the Pueblos. At this point the river is perennial, it 
has no special advantages for defense, but the convenience to 
large areas of tillable soil led to the selection of the site. It 
displays a remarkable compact arrangement of dwellings, some 
of which have been carried to a great height. Five distinct 
terraces may be seen on the south side of the cluster, though 
the highest point is said to have reached a height of seven ter- 
races at one timt. The arrangement of dwellings about a court, 
characteristic of the ancient pueblos, is not seen ; for the original 
building had been covered with rooms of later date. The old 
ceremonial kivas in rooms for the meeting of the various orders 
or secret societies were crowded into the innermost recesses of 
this innermost portion.f" 

General Simpson says that it is far more compact than Santa 
Domingo its streets being narrow and in placer, presenting the 
appearance of tunnels, or covered ways, on account of the houses 
extending over them.;}; 

Acoma, whose remarkable situation on the top of a high rock 
has made it the most conspicuous object in New Mexico for 
nearly three centuries, is easily identified. The case is, how- 

*See Plate, Eighth Annual Report, P. 89. 

tSee Eighth Annual Report Bureau of Ethnology, p. 97. 

JThe villages of the Moquis were situated northwest Irom the Zunis, twenty-five leagues 
but Coroaado seems to have passed by them on his way to Cibola. 

This Cibola was the first pueblo which Coronado reached on his way eastward and the 
last one which he left on his return. Espejo in 1583 visited the same region and after Cleav- 
ing Acoina turned toward the west to a certain province called by the inhabitants of Zuni, 
and by the Spaniards, Cibola; in which province Coronado had erected many crosses 
which yet remain standing. 

The American Atlas by Thomas Jefferys, London, 1773, gives Zuni and Cibola as 
synonimous names. 

Bandelier gives the following evidence that the Zuni and Cibola have been properly 
identified. He quotes Castaneda. (t.) "Twenty leagues to the northwest is another pro- 
vince which contains seven villages the inhabitants have the same costumes, customs and 
religion" as "those of Cibola," 'Tucayan " This was called by "Jaramillo Tucayan to the 
left of Cibola, about five days' march. West of them is the river called "Rio del Tizon" 
or Gila River. (2.) Five days journey to the east there was a village called Acuco. lara- 

'All the water courses which we met whether they were streams or nvers. until that of 
Cibola. and I believe in one or two journeyings beyond, flow into the South Sea." (5.) "All 
the writers from Antonio del Espejo, 1584, down to Gen. J. H. Simpson, 1871, have identified 
Zuni with Cibola." 

"Aguato," Awatobi. Fifteen years later in 1588, Juan de Onate found a pueblo Mohoce 
twenty leagues westward of the first one of Zuni. (See papers of A. I. A. Page 12, Vol. I.) 


ever, different with Tiguex. It is mentioned as lying three days 
from Acoma, but the direction is not given. The belief has been 
expressed that Santa Fe stands on the old site of Tiguex. W. 
H. Davis locates it on the Rio Puerco, and Cicuye on the Rio 
Grande some where near the valley of Guadalupe. Gen. Simp- 
son places it at the foot of Socorro Mountains on the Rio Grande 
and Cicuye at Pecos. Bandelier places Tiguex near Bernalillo, 
and identifies Tutahaco four leagues to the south of Tiguex with 
Isleta, and says that this was on the same river as Tiguex. From 
it Coronado ascended the stream to Tiguex. Castaneda says 
that "Tigeux is the central point." 

An expedition was sent from it which discovered in succes- 
sion Quirix on the river, with seven villages, the Quires district 
including San Domingo, Cochiti, San Felipe, Santa Ana and 
Cia, near the Rio Grande, Aguas, Calientes, three villages , 
Acha Picuries to the northeast, and "Braba" Taos far to the 
northeast. Bandelier says it is unmistakable and refers to Cas- 
taneda and Jean Bleau.* 

Recent investigation has thus enabled us to locate at the time 
of the first discovery a large number of the principal pueblos, or 
groups of pueblos, of New Mexico and Arizona. The pueblo of 
Casa Grande appears to have occupied at that' time the identical 
position in which it is found to-day. The pueblo of Zuni occu- 
pies the ground claimed by the cluster to which the name of 
"Cibola," or "Seven Cities," was given, but it is the only remain- 
ing one of the seven, and is probably a recent construction. The 
Moqui towns appear to be the same which the Spaniards found 
three hundred and fifty years ago. It is probable also that Isleta 
is the same as Tutahaco, which Coronado reached in " eight or 
eleven days," and Acoma the same as Acuco. Pecos was situated 
on the Tiguex Rio Grande, and is the same as Cicuye. 

* Simpson says: There were a number of villages visited by Coronado which were situ- 
ated on the Rio Grande or its tributa'ies Quirix unquestionably, San Felipe, De Queres. 
In the Sn >w mountains, seven; Kimena. three; Chia, one; Silla (Cia), Hemes, Jemmes, 
Aguas, Calientes, the ruins which I have seen at Ojos Calienies, twelve miles above the 
Hemes on the Rio de Hemes and Braba Taos. The last town on the Rio, Tiguex, was 
built on the two banks ol a stream, which was crossed by bridges built of nicely squared 
pine timber.) 



The geological history of the great plateau of the west is so 
closely connected with the history of the people that it seems ab- 
solutely necessary that we should get a correct idea of it before 
we proceed. The following from the pen of Dr. J. S. Newberry 
will be appropriate.* He says : "To what cause is due the mesa, 
or table land plateau of the country? This much we can fairly 
infer from the observations already made; that the outlines of 
the North American continent were approximately marked out 
from the earliest palaeozoic times. Many thousand feet of sedi- 
mentary strata were converted into dry land, by the gradual up- 
heaval of the plutonic rocks, upon which they were deposited. 
Gradually they were raised, without much disturbance, to their 
unequal positions, though lines of more powerful upheavals can 
be traced in the increased heights of the table lands, while here 
and there volcanic forces have thrust up huge masses of igueous 
rock through the sedimentary crust, forming mountains more or 
less isolated and of great beauty, which contrast strongly with 
the eroded mesa lands, among which they rise. 

"The plateau of the Colorado itself has been raised to an av- 
erage of 7,000 feet. It extends in a north-northwest direction 
from a point southeast from San Francisco mountain across the 
Little Colorado into Utah, and includes the country traversed 
by Grand and Green river, as well as a more considerable part 
of that crossed by the Colorado, Chiquito and the San Juan. 

"From their source onward these two rivers and their tribu- 
taries, in their passage over the table lands of the great central 
plateau, have cut their way in channels which deepen continu- 
ally as they advance, and also present fewer and fewer open val- 
leys as they progress, to break the narrow, sunless perpendicular- 
ity of their gigantic walls. 

"In the case of the Colorado, this penetrative tendency cul- 
minated in a canyon 3,000 to 6,000 feet deep. Over the plateau 
the Colorado river flowed for at least 300 miles of its course, but 
in the lapse of ages its rapid current has cut its bed through all 
the sedimentary strata, and several hun Jred feet into the granite 
base on which they rest. 

"For three hundred miles the cut edges of the mesas rise up 

*Dr. Ncwberrv. who accompanied Lieut. Joseph C. Ives on his exploration ol the Rio Color- 
ado, on the Gulf of California, was one of the first geologists who ever wrote a description of the 
Grand Canyon. His description is graphic, and at the same time is full of the geological facts 
which came from his generalknowlddge of geology. We, therefore, quote from it extensively. 


abruptly, often perpendicularly, forming walls 3.000 feet to over 
a mile in height. This is the Grand Canyon of the Colorado, 
the most magnificent geological section, of which we have any 

"The plateau itself, as well as the great canyon, belongs to a 
vast system of erosion and is wholly due to the action of water. 
Probably no wherein the world has the action of this agent pro- 
duced results so surprising as regards their magnitude and 
peculiar character. 

"By a glance at the map it will be seen that this great water 
shed made up of the San Francisco group, the Mogollon.and the 
spurs of the Rocky Mountains which throw the water into the 
Colorado from the south, southeast and east, forms a semi-circle 


y imperfectly parallel with the course of 

the Colorado." 

Dr. Newberry thus speaks of the Moqui country and the dis- 
trict beyond : 

The mesa is geologically and physically the highest which we actually 
passed over on our route. We seemed to be rising step upon step and 
mesa upon mesa, until we reached this plateau. At the Moqui villages the 
strata forming great table lands began to rise toward the east. Near Fort 
Defiance, the summit has an altitude of 8,000 feet. Here they show the 
disturbing influence of a more westerly axis of elevation, namely that of 
the Rocky mountains. In the interval between Fort Defiance and the Rio 
Grande, the great volcanic mountain, Mount Taylor, like San Francisco 
mountain, has broken through the crust of the sedimentary rocks and 
poured their floods of lava over the surface. Beyond this is the valley of 
the Rio Grande, which runs in a deep gorge between the folds of the mesa, 
the tributaries to which have cut deep seams, leaving many abrupt tongues 
t land high peaks, which are called "portreros," among which the Cave- 
dwellers made their homes. To the east of the Rio Grande rises another 
plateau which is creased by the wearing of the Pecos river, then come the 
foothills of the Rocky mountains. 

It was across this great plateau that the Spaniards made their 
way in 1540, and discovered the Grand Canyon. 

Professor Winship has translated the reports which were 
made of this expedition by Castaneda, also a letter from Men- 


doza to the King, and from Coronado to Mendoza, all in the 
year 1540;* he has also furnished a description of the appearance 
of the cavalcade. The following is the description : 

It was a splendid airay as it passed in review before Mendoza on Sun- 
day morning, February, 1540. The \oung cavaliers curbed the picked 
horses from the large stock farms of the viceroy, each resplendent in long 
blankets flowing to the ground. Each rider held his lance erect while his 
sword and other weapons hung in their proper places at his side. Some 
were arrayed in coats-of-mail, polished to shine like that of their general, 
whose gilded armor, with its brilliant trappings was to bring him many 
hard blows a few months later. Others wore iron helmets, or visored head 
pieces, of the tough bull hide for which the country has ever been famous. 
The footmen carried crossbows and harquebuses, while some of them were 
armed with bow and shield. Looking on, at these white men, with their 
weapons of European warfare, was the crowd of native allies, in their paint 
and holiday attire, armed with the bow and club of the Indian warrior. 
When all of these started off the next morning, in duly ordered companies, 
with their banners flying. Upwards of a thousand servants and followers, 
black men, red men, went with them, leading the spare horsas and driving 
the pack animals bearing the extra baggage of their masters, or herding the 
large droves of "big and little cattle," of oxen and cows and sheep, and 
maybe swine, which had been selected by the viceroy to assure fresh food 
for the army on its march. There were more than a thousand horses in the 
train of the force, besides mules loaded with camp supplies and provisions, 
and carrying half a dozen pieces of light artillery the pedreros or swivel 
guns of the period. 

Coronado entered the wilderness on St. John's eve, and in the quaint 
language of Hakluyt's translation of the general's letter, "to refresh our 
former traveiles, the first days we found no grasse but worser vay of moun- 
tains and badde passages." The first few days of the march were very try- 
ing; the discouragements of the men increased with the difficulties of the 
way, but they proceeded until they came in sight of the Seven Cities. The 
inhabitants had assembled in a great crowd in front of the place, awaiting 
the approach of the strangers, Coronado prepared for an assault on the 
city. The natives showered arrows against the advancing foes, and as the 
Spaniards approached the walls, stones of all sizes were thrown upon them. 
The courage and military skill of the white men proved too much for the 
Indians. They were driven from the main portion of the town. Food, 
which they needed a great deal more than gold and silver, was found in the 
rooms, During the night the Indians packed up what goods they could 
and left the Spaniards in undisputed possession. 

The first expedition toward the east was sent out August 29th, in charge 
of Alvarado, who reached the river Tiguex (the Rio Grande), September 7. 
and spent some time in visiting the villages, making headquarters at 
Tiguex, near the site of the present town of Bernalillo. Alvarado sent to 
the general the names o' eighty villages, which he had learned from the 
natives, and reported that these eighty villages were the best that, had 
yet been found. He then proceeded to Cicuye, or Pecos, the most eastern 
of the walled villages. The first winter spent in the pueblos of New .Mex- 
ico was a severe one, but the strangers were comfortably domiciled in the 
best houses of the country, in which the owners left a plentiful supply of 
food. The natives assumed a hostile attitude, and were subdued only after 
a protracted stuggle. The army started on its return from Tiguex to Ci- 
bola, Culiacan and Mexico in the spring of 1542. 

Coronado found no gold in the land ot the "seven cities" or 
in Quivira. Though his search added much to the geographical 
knowledge of the country, and resulted in the discovery of one 

*See XI Vth Annual Report of Bureau of Ethnology; 


of the grandest and most stupendous objects on the American 
continent, and, in fact, on the globe, namely, the Canyon of the 
Colorado. He fell under the displeasure of the viceroy and 
sank into ( bscurity. Owing to these discouraging experiences, 
the Spaniards for many years paid little attention to New Mexico. 

*"\\"hen ill reports of Coronado hadbeen forgotten, there began another 
Spanish movement into New Mexico and Arizona. In 1581 three Spanish 
missionaries started from Saita Barbara in Mexico, with an tscort oi n ne 
Spanish soldiers under commai.d of Francisco Sanchez Chomuscado. They 
passed up the Rio Grande to where Beinallilo now is, and there the mis- 
sionaries remained until assassinated bv their treacherous flock. 

"In the following year Antonio de Espejo, a wealthy native of Cordova, 
started also from Santa Barbara with fourteen men, to face the deserts and 
the savages of New Mexico. He marched up the Rio Grande to a point 
above where Alberquerque now stands. He visited the cities of Sia, Jemez, 
lofty Acoma Zuni, and the far off Moqui towns, and traveled a long way 
into northern Arizona, Returning to the Rio Grande, he visited the pueblo 
of Pecos, which was then inhabited, went down the Pecos river into Texas, 
and thence crossed back to Santa Barbara. 

"In 1590 Gasper Castano de Losa, lieutenant-governor of New Leon, 
made an expedition into New Mexico, but without the consent of the 
viceroy. He came up the Rio Grande, but at the pueblo of Santa Domin- 
go was arrested, and was carried home in irons. 

"In 1595 Juan de Onate, who may be called the colonizer of New Mex- 
ico, and who was a native of Zacetacas, Mexico, and owned rich mines in 
that region, made a contract with the viceroy of New Spain to colonize New 
Mexico at his own expense. He made all preparations, and fitted out his 
costly expedition which had cost him the equivalent of a million of dollars. 
He took with him four hundred colonists, including two hundred soldiers, 
with women and children, and herds of sheep and cattle. Taking formal 
possession of the country, he moved up the Rio Grande to where the ham- 
let of Chomito now is, and founded San Gabriel, the second town in the 
United States. He was successful in putting down a revolt at Acoma, and 
in 1604 marched with thirty men from San Gabriel across the desert to the 
Gulf of California. In 1605 he -founded Santa Fe, the city of the Holy 
Faith of St. Frances; and in 1606 he made an expedition to the far north- 

"New Mexico at the beginning of the seventeenth century, after the 
Spaniards had spent a hundred years of ceaseless exploration and con- 
quest, had hundreds of towns which Spanish missionaries were attempt- 
ing to civilize. 

"The Rio Grande valley, in New Mexico, was beaded with Spanish 
settlements, from Santa Cruz to below Socorro, 200 miles; and there were 
also colonies in Taos, in the extreme north of the territory. There had 
been expeditions, which had penetrated the staked plain, Llano Estacado, 
to the southeast and others to the far northwest." It is supposed that the 
region of the Cliff-dwellers was reached. 

"There were then 1300 Spaniards on the Rio Grande, all living in Santa 
J e or in scattered farm settlements. The life of the colonists was a daily 
battle with nature, for New Mexico was ever a semi-arid land They were 
surrounded with danger, for there were frequent incursions of the cruel 
Apaches, and there was no rest from the attempts of the Pueblos at insur- 

"In i58o the great revolt of the Pueblo tribes occurred. Thirty-four 
Pueblo towns were engaged in it. It was led by a dangerous Tehua Indian 
named Pope Secret rumors had gone from pueblo to pueblo, and the 
murderous blow fell upon the whole territory simultaneously Over 400 
Spaniards were assassinated, including 21 of the missionaries. Antonio de 
n was governor of New Mexico. He was attacked in his capital of 

These quotations are from "The Spanish Pioneers," by Charles F. Lummis. 


Santa Fe, and 120 Spanish soldiers soon found themselves unable to hold 
it against their swarming besiegers. After a week's desperate defense, 
they fled, taking their women and children with them. They retreated 
down the Rio Grande, and reached the pueblo Isleta in safety, butthe vil- 
lage was deserted. The Spaniards were obliged to continue their flight to 
El Paso, Texas, which was then a Spanish mission.* 

"For ten years New Mexico was deserted by the Spaniards, though fre- 
quent invasions were made fiom El Paso. In 1692 Diego de Vargas 
marched to Santa Fe and thence to Moqui with only 89 men. He visited 
every pueblo in the province, meeting no opposition, but when he under- 
took to colonize, the Indians gave him the bloodiest reception. Then be- 
gan the siege of the black mesa of San Ildefonso. De Vargas also stormed 
the impregnable citadel of the Potrero Viego and the beetling cliff of San 
Diego de Jemez. These costly lessons kepc the Indians quiet until 1696, 
when they broke out again in revolt, but were soon subdued. Then came 
a dismal hundred years of ceaseless harassment by the Apaches, Navajos 
andComanches, and occasionally by the Utes, 

The Indian wars were constant, but the explorations by the Spaniards 
were frequent. They extended into Texas and settlement soon followed. 
The Spanish colonization of Colorado was slow, and they had no towns 
north of the Arkansas river. In Arizona, a Jesuit mission was established 
and continued from 1689 to 1717. Father Franciscus Eusebius Kuehne 
made four journeys on foot from Sonora to the Gila, and descended that 
stream to its junction with the Colorado.'' 

The Spaniards, notwithstanding their long residence and 
extensive acquaintance with the Pueblo territory, never discov- 
ered the cliff dwellings, or if they did, they never made a 
record of them. There was an expedition towards the north- 
ern part of the territory and beyond, which led very near to 
them, but did not result in their discovery. It was conducted 
by two Franciscan Friars, Dominquez and Escalante, who in 
1 676 started out from Santa Fe for the purpose of discovering 
the route to Monterey, and to California and the sea. 

The party consisted of the two priests and five soldiers 
They took the road to Abiquieu and the Rio Chama, and reach 
ed a point called Nueves on the San Juan, three leagues below 
the junction of the Navajo. They crossed the San Juan, passed 
down the north bank, north of the Colorado line, and found 
themselves on a branch of the San Juan some distance north 
of the Mancos canyon, and on the I2th day of May encamp- 
ed on the Dolores. This part of their route was in the neigh- 
oorhood of the cliff dwellings, but they did not seem to have 
gained any knowledge of them. The beginning of their route 
was the same as the old Spanish trail from Santa Fe to Los 
Angeles. They afterward took a route which was about the 
same as the Spanish trail from Santa Fe to the Salt Lake, 
the same trail that Captain Macomb followed in his survey. 
On the 23rd of May they left the San Pedro and passed north- 

*The revolt of 1680 seems to have resulted in the temporary abandonment of the country by 
the Spaniards but was followed by a great reduction of the native population in the entire aban- 
donment of many of their pueblos. Nearly all the Queres villages below San Felipe were aban- 
doned, and new villages were erected below El Paso which bear the same name as the old. At 

10,069 feet high and descends almost perpendicularly. 


eest to the Rio San Francisco, and camped in a rancheria of 
Utes, and sought to secure a guide to the Lagunas, or Timpa- 
nagos, where they had been told to look for Pueblo' towns. 
Pursuing a northwest course they crossed the San Raphael, or 
Colorado, where were signs of buffalo. They crossed the San 
Benaventura, which was the boundary between the Utes and 
the Comanches, at a place called Santa Cruz. From this point 
they went westward and came in sight of the Lake of the Tim- 
panagos, now named Utah Lake. 

There were here no town builders like the Moquis and Zunis, as the 
priests had been told, but there were many wild Indians. These Indians 
gave the priests a kind of heiroglyphic paintings on deer skin to show them 
their desire to adopt the Christian faith, The Utes dwelt in huts made of 
osiers. They made their utensils of the same material. The Comanches 
lived in huts made from grass and earth, -the latter of which forms the roof. 
The Utes wear clothes made from the skins of bears and antelopes. 

The party abandoned the hope of reaching the sea, and they 
turned southwest and reached the Beaver river, which is now 
called Escalante river. They returned by way of the Moqui 
villages and reached Santa Fe after an absence of about four 

These various explorations by the Spaniards, bring to view 
the territory which was occupied by the pueblos ; a territory which 
is now divided up into four states, New Mexico, Arizona, Col- 
orado and Utah, and is traversed by two great rivers, the Rio 
Grande on the east and the Colorado and its branches on the 
west, and in a general way is bounded by four others: Pecos 
on the east, Dolores on the north, Colorado on the west, and 
the Gila on the south. 

The Rio Grande was the river on which the largest number 
of inhabited pueblos were found, as it was the river on which 
the largest number of Spanish missions were established. 
These missions resulted in the erection of large churches in all 
the prominent places, many of which are still standing, though 
in ruins, and are bften mistaken by tourists and travellers for 
prehistoric structures. The history of these churches will be 
appropriate here. 

Mr. C. F. Lummis has written a chapter on church builders. 
The following are extracts from his very interesting book, 
"The Spanish Pioneers:" 

The first church in New Mexico, at San Gabriel, was founded in Sep- 
tember 1598, by the ten missionaries who accompanied Juan de Onate. In 
1608 a church was erected at Santa Fe. 

In 1617, three years before Plymouth Rock, there were already eleven 
churches in use in New Mexico, viz: at the dangerous Indian pueblos Pecos 
and Galisteo, on the east; one in the far north at Taos, two at Jemez, 
one hundred miles west of Santa Fe in an appalling wilderness, and others at 
nearly all of the large towns. It was a wonderful achievement, for each 
lonely missionary so soon to have induced his barbarous flock to build a 
big stone church and worship there the new white God. 

The churches in the two Jemez pueblos had to be abandoned about 1622 ' 
on account of the harassment by the Navajos, but were occupied again in 
1626. At Zuni, far west of the river and three hundred miles from Santa 


Fe, the missionaries had established themselves as early as 1629, and in the 
same period they built three churches among the wonderful cliff towns of 
Moqui. Down the Rio Grande there was a similar activity. At the ancient 
pueblo of San Antonio a church was founded in 1629, and another at the 

fueblo Nuestea Senora, now Soccorro. The church in the pueblo of 
'icures, in the northern mountains, was built before 1632, and the one at 
Isleta, in the center of New Mexico, was built before 1635; one at Nambe 
in 1642. 

In 1662 a church was built at El Paso del Norte, a dangerous frontier 
mission, hundreds of miles from Spanish settlements in Old and New 

One can see from the windows of the train on the Santa Fe route, a 
large adobe ruin. It is the old church of the pueblo of Pecos,* whose walls 
were reared 275 years ago. The pueblo was the largest in New Mexico, 
but was deserted in 1840. Its great quadrangle of many storied Indian 
houses is in utter ruin, but above their gray mounds still tower the walls of 
the old church. 

The missionaries also crossed the mountains east of the Rio Grande 
and established missions among the Pueblos who dwelt on the edge of the 
Great Plains. 

The churches at Cuarai, Abo and Tabira are the grandest ruins in the 
United States, and were built between 1660 and 1670, and about the same 
time as the churches at Tajique and Chilili. Besides all these the pueblos of 
Zia, Santa Ana, Tsuque, Projoaque, San Juan, San Marcos, San Lazaro, San 
Cristobal, Alameda, Santa Cruz, and Cochiti, had each a church by 1680. 
A century before our nation was born, the Spanish had built, in one of our 
territories, half a hundred permanent churches, nearly all of stone and some 
of them of immense proportions. 

This great zeal in building churches, taken in connection with the 
oppressions of the Spanish, resulted in the frequent murdering of the mis- 
sionaries, and finally in the revolt of 1680. It was almost a habit with the 
natives to kill the missionaries. It was not the sin of one or two towns 
but nearly all, for twenty different towns, at one time or another, murdered 
their respective missionaries. Some towns repeated the crime several 
times. Up to the year 1700, forty of these quiet heroes in gray had been 
slain in New Mexico, two by the Apaches, but the rest by their own flock. 

This plan of building massive churches and bringing the 
natives, who had been for centuries accustomed to the wor- 
ship of the "rain god" in their estufas or subterranean chamb- 
ers, to the severe tasks of erecting and supporting them, was 
in violation to the traditions of the people and contrary to all 
their habits. 

The celebrated Dr. Flinders W. Petrie has said: 

The civilization of any race is not a system which can be changed at 
will. To alter such a system, apart from its condition?, is impossibe. 
Every civilization is the growing product of a very complex set or condi- 
tions, depending on race and character, on climate, on trade, and every 
minutia of the circumstances. Whenever a total change is made in govern- 
ment it breaks down altogether, and a resort to a despotism of one man is 
the result. We may despotically force a bold and senseless imitation of 
our way on another people, but we should only destroy their light without 
implanting any vitality in its place. No change is beneficial to the real 

We have given a plate which illustrates the size and shape of the church which remains in 
ruins at Pecos, of which Mr. Lummis has given a description. It has been kindly loaned to us 
by Messrs. A. C. McClurg & Co. 

The Rock of Acoma. which is also represented in the plate, is surmounted by an ancient 
pueblo, in the midst of which is another massive church building which rises above the walls of 
the pueblo and is the most prominent object in the landscape. 

Mr. C. F. Lummis, in his volume "Poco Tempo," has given several cuts of the churches at 
Tabira, Abo and Cuarai. 


character of a people except what flows from conviction, and a natural 
growth of the mind. 

Such a system, the product of such extreme conditions, we attempt to 
force on the least developed races and expect from them an implicit subser- 
vience to our illogical law, and our inconsistent morality, the result is 
death: we make a dead house and call it civilization. Scarcely a single 
race can bare the contact and the burdens, and then we talk complacently 
about the continued decay of savages before white men. 

It was inevitable that frequent revolts should occur, and 
that full submission to the dominion of the Spanish should 
never take place, though there was an ostensible practice of 
the religious rites and ceremonies, yet the old pagan or abor- 
iginal system continued and survives to the present day. 

It is a singular fact that, notwithstanding the efforts of 
Spanish missionaries to civilize and christianize the natives, 
there was a very rapid decline in the population and a decrease 
in the number of the inhabited pueblos. This has been 
accounted for, in part, by the incursions of the savage tribes 
who dwelt upon the borders of the pueblo territory, the Nav- 
ajos, the Apaches, the Utes and the Comanches, offshoots of 
the Athapascan and Shoshonian stock, which originally came 
from the north. These tribes had beset the region, especially 
the western and northern part, before the arrival of the Span- 
iards, and had compelled the people who were dwelling in the 
pueblos and were cultivating the soil in the valleys of the San 
Juan and elsewhere, to build their houses in the cliffs as a mat- 
ter of defense. They afterward drove them from their retreats 
and compelled them to find refuge among the tribes farther 
south. The date of this migration of the Cliff-dwellers is un- 
known, but it was probably before the arrival of the Spaniards. 
The attack of these wild tribes was so persistent that all the 
north and western part of the Pueblo territory had been aban- 
doned, and the great villages which were situated in the valley 
of the Gila, as well as the cliff dwellings on the San Juan, the 
Rio de Chelly and the Rio Verde, as well as the pueblos on 
the Chaco, were in ruins. 

The Spanish writers make no mention of villages situated 
in these valleys, nor did they send any missionaries there or 
build any churches. It seems that only a very small portion 
of the pueblo territory was occupied at the time of the arrival 
of the Spanish, and even that became decimated and some of 
it depopulated while the Spaniards were occupying it. It has 
been questioned whether there was a decrease in the pop- 
ulation, but we have evidence furnished by the Spanish 
explorers themselves. In 1582 Antonio de Espejo made his 
expedition up the Rio Grande. In his report he gives the 
list of villages reached and the population of each. 

The population of these towns was very much over estimat- 
ed by Espejo, but the number of inhabited pueblos* was in great 

The sixty inhabited pueblos which were discovered by Coronado were reduced to about 


contrast with those mentioned by the American explorers.* Not 
one of these villages probably contained over 1,000 people. 
The population, estimated by the Spaniards at from 25,000 to 
250,000, is not now over 10,000. 

The following table, kindly furnished by Mr. F. W. Hodge, 
shows the population after the Americans had occupied the 




Cen- i, 
sus. PUEBLOS. 






3 CQ 


582 San Felipe 







300 San Ildefonso 







1037 San Juan 







474 Santa Ana 







970 Santa Clara. ..... 







Si Santo Domingo 












1 20 Taos 







18 Tesuque 

1 10 







150!] Zunif 




Moved to Jemez 1840. 

fPopulation 1,470 in 1805. 

Later figures from Census Report including Mold. 

There was nothing in the Spanish regime which secured de- 
fense to the people against their enemies. Only when there 
was a revolt among the Pueblo tribes themselves, did they 
bring in the force ot arms to protect themselves. The people 
had learned to economize in wood and water, and had ways of 
erecting their own buildings and irrigating their own villages, 
which were well adapted to a semi-arid region. They gather- 
ed the rain water which fell upon the surface into reservoirs, 
led it through the center of the villages, afterwards conducted 
it through the gateways into other reservoirs, and there used 
it to irrigate their fields. f 

They sometimes built their houses on mesas, which were 
reached by single pathways, as may be seen in the village 
of Acoma, which, with Isleta and Oraibe, are the oldest 
pueblos in the region and the only ones that remain in the 
same sites as they did when discovered by Coronado. They 
were thus able to endure the attacks of the savages, though 

*Bandelier says: "The villages of that time (first half ol the sixteenth century) were on an 
average much smaller than those of to-day inhabited by Pueblo Indians, but there was a greater 
number of them. The aggregate population of the Pueblos in the sixteenth and seventeenth cen- 
turies did not exceed 25,000 souls." 

Mr. Gushing says: "At the time of the Spanish conquest the Pueblo Indians numbered, all 

, more than 50,000. . . . The total population of the modern towns is about 10,000." 

Not one of these villages contained over 1,000 people. 

Mr. M. L. Miller says: "The population of Taos in 1864 was 361. I he number of the 

told, m 

the year 1660 at a little over 23,000. 

fThe ruins of Pecos which are presented in the two plates illustrate this, as do the inhabited 
villages of Taos. 


they allowed tribes, such as the Queres* and Navajos,to drift in 
from the outside regions, who adopted the Pueblo style of 
building and conformed to the common mode of life. 

The Pueblos had a system of worship which was peculiar to 
the region. They worshipped the nature powers and the "rain 
god"f under the symbol of the serpent, and had many ceremo- 
nies which were founded upon this system. Every part of 
their domain, including the rocks, the springs, the mountains 
and lakes, were sacred to their divinities. Even their method 
of reckoning time was by watching the sun in its course, and 
noticing its position over certain heights. 

It was not strange that the people revolted. They were 
obliged to carry heavy timbers long distances to put into the 
massive churches erected in every village where there was a 
mission. The difficulty of this task can be imagined when we 
look at the picture of the great church which overshadows, by 
its height, the pueblo on the summit of Acoma-t The old clan 
life, and the rule of the Caciques, was interfered with. Time 
honored institutions and customs were broken up. The rule of 
the priests was substituted for that of the hereditary chiefs and 
"medicine men." 

It was not altogether owing to the attack of the savages 
that the pueblos were deserted; but to the oppressions of the 
Spaniards, which continued for three hundred years, the only 
relief to which was the Mexican war in 1846 and their transfer 
to the American power. To this the Pueblo tribes gave their 
adherence at the first, and have ever since manifested the most 
friendly feeling. 

When the Americans began their explorations there was 
very little of the territory inhabited. \\ All this is, how- 
ever, in great contrast to that which has occurred since the 
Americans began to occupy the country. 

The American exploration may be divided into a number 
of periods which followed one another, according to succession 
or order of time; each of which has produced important results. 

The first series began with the capture of General Pike and 
his trip across the country to Mexico, and ended with the 
trading expeditions of J. W. Gregg. 

The Queres, according to Mr. C. F. Lummis, made their homes among the potreros west 
of the Rio Grande, and were the cave-dwellers of this region. They are said to have erected the 
stone effigies, which were probably their totems, thus showing that they were originally totemis- 
tic animal worshippers and not sun worshippers like the Pueblos. One branch of them built the 
village on the summit of the rock Acoma. Another branch occupied Santa Ana, Santo Domingo 
San Felipe and Cochiti on the Rio Grande. 

fSee book on Myths and Symbols. 
tSee Plate. 

||Acoma, Laguna, Zuni and the Moqui pueblos were about all the villages west of the Rio 
Grande which were inhabited. 

Frpm "Pike's Narrative" we learn that James Pursley fell in with some Indians on the 
Platte river and passed over to the Grand river and descended, in 1805, to Santa Fe. In 1812 an 
expedition under McKnight, Beard and Chambers succeeded in reaching Santa Fe. In 1821 t'apt. 
Beckwell, with four trusty companions, went to Santa Fe. In 1822 Santa Fe trade began; Col. 
Maimaduke, Lieut.-Governor of Missouri, made one of a party who went with twenty-five wheel- 
ed carriages to Santa Fe. 



The second began with the expedition sent out by the gov- 
ernment under the charge of Colonel Washington and Lieuten- 
ant Simpson,* to examine into the condition of the Xavajo In- 
dians, but included the expedition under General Sitgreaves 
and Lieutenant Ives, who were to report on the navigability of 
the Colorado river, but ended with the preliminary survey of 
the Pacific railroad under Major Whipple. 

The third series began with the organization of the Geolog- 
ical surveys under Prof. F. V. Hayden and Major Wheeler, and 
included the explorationst by W. H Holmes, W. H. Jackson, 
Oscar Loew, Prof. E. D. Cope and Dr. W. H. Hoffman. This 
exploration resulted in the discovery of the cliff dwellings in 
the Moncos canyon, the shelter caves, the Montezuma canyon, 
ancient pueblos on the McElmo and the remarkable fortress 
called Montezuma Castle. 

The fourth series began with the organization of the Ethno- 
logical bureau, J and includes the expeditions sent out under 
the auspices of the Archaeological Institute of America, con- 
ducted by A. F. Bandelier, the Hemenway expedition, and the 
reports made by F. H. Gushing, J. Walter Fewkes and Dr. 
Washington Mathews. 

The fifth series consisted of explorations of private individ- 
uals who have visited the regions of the Cliff-dwellers, among 
whom are F. H. Chapin, Dr. Beardsall, F. T. Bickford, Mr. 
Nordenskjold, C. F. Lummis, W. K. Moorhead and Lewis W. 

Each one of these expeditions marks an era in the history of 

This brought to light the wonderful ruins in the valley of the Chaco and the Rio de Chelly, 
the Rock Inscriptions at Zuni, and furnished an account of the inhabited pueblos of Zuni, Laguna 
and the villages on the Rio Grande. The expedition under Captain Macomb was attended by 
Prof. J. S. Newberry, They passed up the Colorado river, reached the Grand Canyon, crossed 
the plateau to the Moqui villages, and from there to the Dojores and to the river Chama, but did 
not reach the ruins in the valley of the Chaco. Major Whipple traversed the same route which 
had been previously followed by J.W.Gregg, by way of the Canadian river and the Shawnee set- 
tlements. Walnut Creek to Albuquerque and from thence to Laguna, Zuni, Rio Pascado, Rio 
Verde, Aztec Pass, Bill Williams' Forks to the Colorado river. A special report was made by 
Lieutenant Abert, which gave the names of the Indian tribes and their number. 

1 The results of this exploration were very remarkable and should be meniioned eriatii'' [i.] 
The Cliff Dwellings, situated high up on the sides of the cliffs of the Mancos canyon, were 
discovered by W. H. Jackson. 1 ne cliff villages, such as Echo Cave on the Mancos, on the Rio 
deChelley, on the San Juan, were described by W.H. Holmes. 2.] The ruined pueblos situated 
on the McElmo, the Dolores and the Hovenwep, the most of which were of the honey-comb pat- 
tern. [3.] The cavate houses, with towers above them and walled up caves, which were used for 

described by Lieut. Rogers Birnie. [7.] The Rock Inscriptions which were discovered in the 
Shelter caves. [8.] The pottery and other relics, described by E. A. Barber and W.H. Holmes. 
[9]The revisiting of the ruins of Chaco canyon by W.H.Jackson. [10.] The accountofthe Pueblo 
languages by A. S. Gatschet, and the classification of the tribes according to languages, by 
Oscar Loew. 

JThis bureau was established in 1879 after the famous exploration of the Grand Canyon of 
Colorado by Maj. J. W. Powelj. The general review of the field explored has been published by 
Major Powell in various magazines, and in a recent book called the Canyon of Colorado, publish- 
ed by Ford & Vincent. 

||Mr. L. F. Bickford has described the ruins on the Chaco and on the Rio Verde in the_ Cen- 
tury magazine for October 1890. Dr. Mearns. surgeon United States army, described the ruin* on 
the Rio Verde and the fortress called Casa Blanco in the Popular Science Monthly for <Vtobe.- 
1890. Dr. J. F. Beardsall describes the cliff dwellings in Mancos canyon in the Bulletin ot 
Geographial Society, republished in the American Antiquarian. Messrs. Moorhead and Gunckel 
furnish descriptions of the shelter caves and cave villages in the Butlers-wash and other canyons 
in the Illustrated American, alio in THE AMERICAN ANTIQUARIAN. 


the pueblo region since the time of American occupation, which 
is distinguished not so much for the changes among the pueblos 
themselves, as by the progress of the country in all that makes 
for peace and prosperity. Very little was known at the outset 
about the country except that it was overrun by savages. It was 
only the regions beyond and the gold mines of California that at 
first interested the people, but it was afterward found that the 
country was rich in minerals and only needed enterprise and en- 
ergy to bring out its resources. There was great danger in travel- 
ing and it was not safe for Americans to settle there. It was not 
long before the government subdued the hostiles and brought 
the whole country under the strong power of law. 

Interest was awakened when it was discovered that there were 
so many ruins hid away in the valleys and the deep canyons, and 
America began to appear like an ancient country. A vast 
amount of information concerning the Indian tribes, and especi- 
ally the Pueblos, began to come in, and the Indians instead of 
proving to be mere vagrants hardly worthy of notice and only 
to be exterminated as soon as possible, were shown to have had 
a remarkable system of government, a wonderful amount of my- 
thology and folklore, and also elaborate ceremonial and religious 
rites, which were worthy of the closest attention. 

The study of the architecture, languages and the customs of 
the Pueblo Indians, were owing to the personal interest in arch- 
seology which some of the explorers felt, and the reports were 
altogether voluntary, but the contributions have increased in 
number and value as time has passed on. It is with this point 
in view that we shall quote freely from the reports of the differ- 
ent explorers, taking those which were early and late and arrang- 
ing them so as to bring out the facts in reference to particular 

The various parties which explored the region began at the 
east side and went westward in the opposite direction from that 
taken by the Spaniards. They reached first the inhabited pueb- 
los situated upon the Rio Grande, and only came upon the ruins 
as diey approached the western borders. Some of the expedi- 
tions took the central route and followed the old trail which was 
the continuation of the Santa Fe trail ; consequently they came 
first to the pueblos which were already known, such as San 
Domingo, Acoma and Zuni. Still some of the earlier explor- 
ers were able to reach the ruined pueblos and cliff dwellings 
which were totally unknown, and made reports which were very 

Sitgreaves came upon ruins of stone houses which he says were evidently remains of a large 
town, as they lecur atintervals for an extent of eight ornine miles, butprobably the same as vis- 
ited by Gushing, Walter Fewkes and others, situated upon the Rio Gila, and his guide Lereux 
passed from the Gila over to the Rio Verde and discovered some of the cliff dwellings which have 
so recently been described by Mr. Mindeliff. 


The descriptions furnished by the different exploring par- 
ties form a most suggestive series of discoveries. 

i. We begin with the easternmost district, namely, that on 
the Rio Grande; a district in which there were many inhabited 
pueblos. These have furnished the chief data for reconstruct- 
ing the pueblos farther west, which are in ruins, and for decid- 
ing as to the state of society which formerly existed through- 
out the entire region. The American explorers have done far 
more in this direction than the Spaniards did, notwithstanding 
their excellent opportunities, and the information as to the 
inner systems and hidden rites which were practiced in the 
estufas, and many other things, is constantly being secured. 

The first one to describe the pueblos of this region was Mr. 
Josiah Gregg, who visited the pueblos of Taos, Pecos, Isleta, 
San Domingo and Felipe and described their peculiarities. 
After speaking of the villages and their acequias, or irrigating 
ditches, and the population in the villages, and the ancient 
mines, and ruined cities called La gran Quivira, and the 
traditions concerning them, he describes particular places. 
He says: 

Ancient ruins are now to be seen scattered in every quarter of the terri- 
tory. Of some, entire stone walls are yet standing, while others are nearly 
obliterated. Each pueblo is under the control of a cacique, chosen from 
among their own sages and commissioned by the governor of New Mexico. 
The cacique, when any public business is transacted, collects together the 
principal chiefs of the pueblo in an estufa and laying before them the sub- 
ject of debate, which is generally settled by a majority. 

The Pueblo villages are generally built with more regularity than those 
of the Mexican, and are constructed of the same materials as were used by 
them in the most primitive ages. A very curious feature in these buildings 
is, that there is most generally no direct communication between the street 
and the lower rooms, into which they descend by a trap-door from the 
upper story, the latter being accessible by means of ladders. Even the 
entrance to the upper stories is frequently at the roof. 

Though this was their most usual style of architecture, there still exists 
the pueblo of Taos, composed for the most part, of but two edifices of very 
singular structure -one on each side of a creek, and formerly communicat- 
ing by a bridge. The base story is a mass of near four hundred feet long, 
a hundred and fifty wide, and divided into numerous apartments, upon 
which other tiers of rooms are built, one above another, drawn in by regu- 
lar grades, forming a pyramidal pile fiifty or sixty feet high, and compris- 
ing some six or eight stories. The outer rooms only seem to be used for 
dwellings, and are lighted by little windows in the sides, but are entered 
through trap-doors in the roofs. Most of the inner apartments are em- 
ployed as granaries and store-rooms, but a spacious hall in the centre of 
the mass, known as the estufa, is reserved for their secret councils. These 
two buildings afford habitations, as is said, for over six hundred souls. 
There is likewise an edifice in the pueblo of Picuries of the same class, and 
some of those of Moqui are also said to be similar. 

Some of these villages were built upon rocky eminences deemed al- 
most inaccessible; witness, for instance, the ruins of the ancient pueblo of 
San Felipe, which may be seen towering upon the very verge of a preci- 
pice several hundred feet high, whose base is washed by the swift current 
of the Rio del Norte. The still existing pueblo of Acoma also stands upon 
an isolated mound, whose whole area is occupied by the village, being 
fringed all around by a precipitous cliff. 


Several gentlemen have visited this pueblo (Taos) since the 
time that Mr. Gregg made his expeditions, and have given de- 
scriptions of it. 

The best description is given by Mr. L. H. Morgan. He 

The two structures stand about twenty-five rods apart on opposite sides 
of the stream and facing each other. That upon the north side is about 250 
feet long and 130 feet deep and five stories high; that on the south side 
is shorter and deeper and six stories high. The present population is about 
400, divided between the two houses. Upon the east side there is an adobe 
wall connecting the two buildings and protecting the open space. The 
creek is bordered on both sides by ample fields and gardens, which are irri- 
gated by canals drawing water from the stream. The first stories are built 
up solid; those above are built in a terraced form; several stories are reach- 
ed by ladders, the rooms are entered by trap-doors. The lower rooms are 
used for storage and granaries, and the upper for living rooms, the families 
living above owning and controlling the rooms below. Several rooms were 
measured, and found to be in feet 14x18, 20x22 and 24x27, the height of the 
ceiling from 7 to 8 feet. In the second story they measured 14x23,12x20 
and 15x20. The back rooms have usually one or more round holes made 
through the walls, from six to eight inches in diameter, these furnish the 
apartment with a scanty supply of light and air. The ground rooms are 
usually without doors or windows, their only entrance being through the 
scuttle-holes which are in the rooms comprising the story above. The 
rooms located in the front part of the house receive the light from the doors 
and windows; the back rooms have no other light than that which goes 
through the scuttle-holes or holes in the wall, and they are always gloomy. 

The representation of a room in this pueblo is from a sketch by Mr.Gal- 
braith, who accompanied Major Powell's party. There are fire-places in 
thisjroom, a modern invention. [See plate.] 

There is room in each of the two buildings to accommodate 500 people. 
They were occupied in 1864 by 361 Taos Indians. From the best informa- 
tion attainable, the original buildings were not erected all at one time, but 
added to from time to time. 

The description which is furnished by Mr. M. L. Miller, who 
has spent a summer at Taos, is especially worthy of notice. 
He says: 

The question of location is, apart from another question, whether the 
people are to-day living in the same buildings which the Spaniards saw. 
Mr. Bandelier positively states that, 'with the exception of Acoma, there is 
not a single pueblo standing where it was at the time of Coronado, or even 
sixty years later, when Juan de Onate accomplished the peaceful reduction 
of the New Mexican Village Indians.' 

Taos appears several times prominently in opposition to the Spaniards; 
the last time when the people gave any trouble was at the time of the Taos 
rebellion in 1847. The ruins of the church in which the people made their 
last stand against the whites are still at Taos. There are also ruins near 
Taos which indicate that there has been a rebuilding of the pueblos even 

Of the high houses at Taos there are two, the north house is five stories 
high and the south but four stories. [See plates.] The two main houses 
sheltered the entire tribe originally, but later small groups of buildings 
have been built within the old wall and outside. Mr. Lummis speaks of 
the houses as pryamids, and so they appear, for they recede by four or five 
great steps to the top. The ground floor covers, according to Mr. Davis, 
about three or four hundred feet by one hundred and fifty feet for each 
building. In ancient times the larger door-ways of the upper terraces were 
probably never closed except by means of blankets or rabbit skin robes 
hung over them in cold weather. Examples have been seen where a slight 


pole of the same kind as those used in the lintels is built into the masonry 
of the jambs. 

One of the most curious, and at the same time most characteristic fea- 
tures of an Indian pueblo, is its kiva or estufa. At Taos they are circular 
structures built almost wholly underground and entered by a single open- 
ing in the roof. There is no other opening in the room save a small hole 
at one to secure a draft for the fire. The subterranean position of 
these rooms is significant. Mr. Gushing says: 'When the ancestors to the 
people were living in the caves and cliffs, the women built the houses for 
the protection of themselves and their children, but the men built sleeping 
pbices outside of the caves in front of the houses. The semi-circular form 
of the villages, to be seen in several of the ruined towns, has not continued 
in any of the existing pueblos, but the kivas are still subterranean. 

'At Taos there are seven kivas, four on the south side of the creek and 
three on the north side. Some of these are on the outside of the old town 
wall and others are within the wall. The kivas outside the town wall have 
the openings surrounded by a wail of adobe about two feet high; one de- 
scends by a ladder, the two poles of which extend high up in the air.' 

There are many pueblos in the valley of the Rio Grande 
which, like Taos, have continued to be inhabited. These were 
visited by the early explorers, General Simpson, Major Whip- 
pie and Dr. Oscar Loew, their situation noticed, their popu- 
lation given, and their peculiarities described. Major Whipple 
secured a map from an Indian on which the pueblos were locat- 
ed, and which represents their mythical home or " place of 
emergence- " 

The most remarkable pueblo is that of Pecos,* situated on 
the Pecos river. This was inhabited at the time of the arrival 
of the Spaniards and continued to be inhabited until the year 
1840, though its population decreased until only twelve were 
left; these abandoned the site and went to live at Jemez. The 
best description of Pecos is given by Mr. A. F. Bandelier; the 
points which he makes are as follows: 

I. It was admirably situated, had an extensive view over the surround- 
ing country. 2. The buildings which surmounted the mesas served as a 
defense, as the walls formed an obstruction to a storming foe and a perma- 
nent abode for the defenders 3. The inclosure surrounded by the build- 
ings served as a reservoir and held the water precipitated on the meas, 
which could be c inducted to the fields below and made useful for irrigat- 
ing. 4. The different parts of the house were conformed to the configura- 
tion of the rocks, but were all connected so as to be occupied bv the differ- 
ent families and clans, and serve as a joint tenement house. 5. Ingress and 
egress must have taken place, not horizontally "in and out." but vertically 
"up and down." 6. The surmise is that the family apartments were arrang- 
ed not longitudinal or in transverse rows bu? vertically; the rooms of each 
story communic uing with those above and below by means of trap-doors 
and ladders, the stores for each family being in the lower story. 7. Ac- 
cording to the ground plan and sections it appears that the east wing had 
five stories, the no th two. the west three, and the south four. 8. It was 
the largest aboriginal structure of stone within the United States, and would 
even bear comparison with any of the aboriginal ruins of Mexico and Cen- 
tral America. There seems to have been a wall of circumvallation with a 
total length of 3,220 feet, and about six feet and s'<x inches high on an aver- 
age. 9. Therels but one entrance to it visible, on the west side at its low- 
est level, where the depression runs down the slope making the bed of a 

Of the two plates which illustrate the ruins, one has been kindly loaned by Mr. . F. 
mis the other is reproduced from Bandelier's report to the Archaeological Institute. 1 hese rums 
have been described by Josiah W. Gregg and Mr. W. \V. H. Davis. 


rock streamlet. Here the wall thickens to a round tower built with stones, 
leaving a gateway thirteen feet wide. 10. There is not in the whole build- 
ing one single evidence of any great progress in mechanics. Everything 
done and built within it can be made with the use of a good fair eyesight 
only and the implements and arts of what was formerly called the "stone 
age." This does not exclude the possibility that they had made a certain 
advance in the mechanical agencies. They may have had the plummet or 
even the square, but these were not necessary, n The structure itself, in 
its general plan and mode of construction, reminds one of an unusually 
lar?e honey-comb. 12. Not a vestige of the former cultivation is left, but 
the platform with a pond in the center explains their mode of securing the 
water for irrigation, and gives a forcible illustration of the communal living. 
The Pecos Indians not only lived together, built their houses together, but 
raised their crops in one common field, irrigated from one common water 
source which first gathered its contents within the inhabited surface of the 
grounds, led into a reservoir below and so distributed to the fields. 13. The 
aboriginal ruins in the valley of the Pecos indicates three epochs, succes- 
sive probably in time. Some of the manufactured ware seemed to have 
been made by people distinct from the Pecos tribe, though it is similar to that 
which is met with in the cliff dwellings of Mancos canyon. 


II. The region in which the most interesting ruins are found 
is that which is situated beyond the water-shed at the head- 
waters of the streams which flow into the Colorado, and so to 
the Pacific. It may be divided into four or five separate dis- 
tricts, each of which is drained by a different river, and pre- 
sents a different class of ruins. Into this region the American 
explorers entered at an early date and discovered the most re- 
markable prehistoric structures in the United States; the most 
of them in ruins, but a few still inhabited. The inhabited pueb- 
los had been visited frequently by the Spaniards, but the ruins 
do not seem to have attracted their attention, at least they are 
not described. In this we see the contrast between the two 
classes of explorers. The Spaniards, true to their antecedents, 
sought first for gold, next for religious propogandism. The 
Americans sought for information and for the improvement of 
the country. The result is that we have from the Americans a 
most remarkable series of reports. 


It is our purpose to give an account of these discoveries, tak- 
ing the districts in the order of their discovery as well as that 
of geographical location; giving credit to each exploring par- 
ty, making a special mention of the first discoverers. We 
shall confine ourselves at the present to the ruins found on the 
Chaco river. This region was visited by Lieutenant Simpson 
in 1849, w - H. Jackson in 1874, and K T. Bickford in 1890, and 
described by each in turn. The following is Lieutenant Simp- 
son's description of the ruins, beginning with those of Pintado, 
the easternmost of the group: 

We found them to more than answer our expectations, forming one 
structure and built of tabular pieces of hard, fine-grained, compact, gray 
sand-stone (a material unknown in the presentarchitecture of New Mexico), 
to which the atmosphere has imparted a reddish tinge, the layers or beds 


being not thicker than three inches, and sometimes as thin as one-fourth of 
an inch, it discovers in the masonry a combination of science and art which 
can 'only be referred to a higher stage of civilization and refinement than is 
discovered in the works of Mexicans or Pueblos of the present day. Indeed, 
so beautifully diminutive and true are the details of the structure as to cause 
it, at a little distance, to have all the appearance of a magnificent piece of 
mosaic work. [See n. 78.] 

On the ground floor, exclusive of the out-buildings, are fifty-four apart- 
ments, some of them as small as five feet square, and the largest about 12x6 
feet. These rooms communicate with each other by very small doors, some 
of them as contracted as two and a half by two and a half feet; and in the 
case of the inner suite the doors communicating with the interior court are 
as small as two and a half by three feet. The principal rooms, or the most 
in use, on account of their having larger doors and windows, were those of 
the second story. The system of flooring seems to have been large trans- 
verse, unhewn beams six inches in diameter, laid transversely from wall to 
wall, and then a number of smaller ones, about three inches in diameter, 
laid longitudinally upon them. On these was placed brush which was cov- 
ered with a layer ol mud and mortar. The beams show no signs of the saw 
or axe. On the contrary, they appear to have been hacked off by some 
very imperfect instrument. At different points about the premises were 
three circular apartments, sunk in the ground, called estufas, where the 
people held their religious and political meetings. 


Thirteen miles from our last camp we came to another old ruin called 
Pueblo Weje-gi. 

Further down the canyon we came to another pueblo in ruins, called 
Hungo Pax ie. These ruins show the same nicety in the details of their 
masonry as those already described. The ground plan shows an extent of 
exterior development of 1,872 feet, and a number of rooms upon the g r ound 
floor equal to 72 feet. The structure shows but oi.e circular estufa, and this 
is placed in the body of the north portion of the building, midway from 
either extremity. This estufa differs from others, having a number of in- 
terior counterforts. The main walls of ihe building are, at the base, two 
and three-fourths feet through, and at this time show a height of about 
thirty feet. The ends of the floor beams, still visible, show that there was, 
originally, at least, a vertical series of four floors. The floor beams, which 
are round, in transverse section, and eleven inches in diameter, as well as the 
windows, which are as small as 12x13 inches, have been arranged horizon- 
tally, with great precision and regularity. 

Continuing down the canyon one and three quarter miles further, we 
came to another structure in ruins, the name of which, according to the 
guide, is Pueblo Chettro Kettle, or, as he interprets it, the "Rain Pueblo." 
These ruins have an extent of exterior circuit, inclusive of the court, of 
about 1,300 feet. The material of which the structure has been made, as 
also the style of the masonry, is the same as that of the ruined pueblos 
already described, the stone a sandstone, the beams pine and cedar, and 
the number of stories at present discoverable is four, there having been 
originally a series of windows (four and a half by three and a half feet) in 
the first story, which are now walled up. The number of rooms on the first 
floor, most all of which were distinguishable, must have been as many as 
124. The circular estufas, of which there are six, have a greater depth than 
any we have seen, and differ from them also in exhibiting more stories, one 
of them showing certainly two and possibly three, the lowest one appearing 
to be almost covered up with debris. In the northwest coiner of this ruin is 
found a room in almost a perfect slate of preservation. 

Two or three hundred yards down the canyon we met another old pueb- 
lo in ruins, called Pueble Bonito. The circuit of its walls is about 1,300 
feet. Its present elevation shows that it had at least four stories of apart- 
ments. The number of estufas is four, the largest being sixty feet in diam- 
eter, showing two stories in height, and having a present depth of twelve feet. 
All these estufas are. as in the case of the others 1 have seen, cylindrical in 
shape and nicely walled up with thin tabular stone. Among the ruins are 
several rooms in a very good state of preservation, one of them being wall- 
ed up with alternate beds of large and small stones, the regularity of the 
combination producing a very pleasing effect. The ceiling of this room is 
also more tasteful than any we have seen, the transverse beams being 
smaller and more numeious, and the longitudinal pieces which rest upon 
them only about an inch in diameter and beautifully regular. 

Two miles further down the canyon, but on its left or south bank, we 
came to another pueblo in ruins, called bv the guide Pueblo de Penasca 
Blanca, the circuit of which, approximates, 1,700 feet. This is the largest 
pueblo, in plan, we have seen, and differs from others in the arrangement 
of the stones composing its walls. The walls of the other pueblos were all 
of one uniform character in the several beds composing it; but in this tht re 
is a regular alternation of large and small stones, the effect of which is both 
unique and beautiful. The largest stones, which are about one foot in 
length and one-half foot in thickness, forms but a single bed, and then, 
alternating with these, are three or four beds of very small stones, each 
about an inch in thickness. The general plan of the structure also differs 
from the others in approximating the form of the circle. The number of 
rooms at present discoverable on the first floor is 112, and the existing walls 
show that there have been at least three stories of apartments. The num- 
ber of circular estufas we counted was seven. 

The following map shows the distiicts represented in the territory 
visited by the American explorers. They are as follows: 

I. The first includes the district on the Kio Grande. 

II. The second is 

The second is situated upon the Chaco, where are the remarkable ruins represented in 
the cuts, and which are described in this book by Lieutenant Simpson, W. H. lackson I T 
Kick ford and other .. ' *' 

III. The third is in the valley of San Juan, the McElmo, the Hovenweep. the Mancos the 
Montezuma and other streams, and is characterized by the ruins of the cliff dwellings 

IV. The fourth is situated upon the Rio de Chelly, where are the remains of ancient pueblos, 

clift" fortresses and cliff villages whicn resemble those on the Mancos and San Juan. It includes 
the district drained by the Rio Verde on which are the remajkable series of cavate houses, irrigat- 
ing ditches, ancient boulder cites, stone pueblos and the two cliff dwellings called "Montezuma 
Castle'' and "Montezuma Wells." It includes also the cavate houses and pueblos found in the 
ancient cones about the San Francisco Mountains. 

V. The fifth district is situated upon theCila River and its tributaries, and includes the ancient 
ruins of Casa Grande and the scattered villages and irrigating ditches which have been described 
by Mr. F. H. C'ushiny and others of the Hemingway axpedition. 

VI. The sixth district is situated upon the southern borders of the pueblo territory and em- 
braces the cavate houses among the potreros west of the Rio Grande, also the ancient ruins of the 
deserted villages and ancient Spanish settlements along the northern borders of Te.\;f-. 

VII. There is one other district not represented on the map which is situated in Sonora, 
Mexico, and contains the ancient ruins of the CasasGrandes described by Mr. Bartlett and others. 


The following map is the one which was secured by Major Whipple 
from an Indian. It represents the inhabited pueblos on the Rio Grande, 
which have been described by Mr. Bandelieras follows : 

'Acoma is a regular three-storied village since every one of its long 
buildings contains three floors, of which only the upper two are inhabited; 
but Isleta has lost the pueblo character completely. As to the plan of the 
villages it varies according to topography and surroundings. San Ilde- 
fonso forms a hollow qradnlateral; Jemez, Santa Clara and San Felipe are 
each a double quadrangle with two squares; Santa Domingo, San Juan, 

$ Jcueblot 

art occtipied1>y 

Tiijutx. Jj uii nl is 

Santa Ana and Acoma, consist of several parallel rows of houses and have 
from one to three streets. Zuni is one gigantic building very irregularly 
disposed, traversed by alleys caled streets, and interspersed with several 
interior squares. I aos has two tall houses facing each other, one on each 
side ot a little stream and communicating acioss it by means of a wooden 
toot-bridge. I he same is the plan of the houses of Pecos. The material 
ot which the houses are constructed varies- Acoma is of stone and rubble- 
leta, San Domingo and Cochiti are of adobe. Very of en one of the 
same pueblo will display both kinds of material. There are still occasional 
s or the ancient custom by which the women were required to rear and 
plaster the w.ills, while the men were to attend to the wood-work, the cut- 
ting of the beams and poles." 



The discovery of the Cliff-dwellings was a startling event. It 
occurred in 1874, in connection with the work of Hayden's Geo- 
logical Survey, An account of it was published in the Annual 
Report of 1875-6, and excited at the time very general interest. 
No archaeological discovery has ever awakened more attention 
and excited more curiosity than this. Many ruined dwellings* 
had, indeed, been discovered by the various parties that had 
traversed the Great Plateau, and descriptipns of them had been 
published, but they were ordinary pueblos, with which the public 
had become somewhat familiar, while these presented a style 
of aboriginal dwellings which was not known to exist elsewhere. 
The first consisted of a large number of apartments and consti- 
tuted a village, while these were solitary and isolated dwellings, 
suitable only for the home of a single family. The pueblos were 
situated in the valleys of the streams or upon the mesas, and ac- 
cess to them was comparatively easy, but cliff-dwellings were in 
the sides of the cliffs, and at such marvelous heights as to be 
almost inaccessible. The pueblos were generally in plain sight, 
and along the ordinary familiar routes, while these were in a re- 
mote district, amid wild and lonely canons, and so hidden as to 
escape common observation. The pueblos were inhabited, and 
the people gave the discoverers a welcome, but the cliff-dwellings 
were lonely and uninhabited. No one knew the history of those 
who had dwelt in them, or could tell the fate of those who had 
left them. 

It is not then strange that great interest was awakened, 
and much speculation and startling theories were advanced con- 
cerning them. We may say, however, that the interest has not 
ceased, nor has the mystery which enveloped this subject entirely 
disappeared. Though scientific students have entered into the 
midst of them, and studied the details of their structure, and so 
accumulated facts, that our knowledge has become more ac- 
curate and speculation less fanciful ; yet the history of the people 
is wanting, and there is no reliable tradition concerning them. 

It is not our purpose to furnish a history of the Cliff-dwellers, 
nor to advance any theory concerning their age or final destiny, 
but we shall take up the narrative which was given by the 
discoverers, and examine the facts brought out by them, and 
endeavor, if possible, to define the character of the culture, and 
describe the life of the people. 



I. Let us consider the geographical locality in which the 
cliff-dwellings were situated. On this we shall find much aid 
from the study of the map as well as the narrative. 

We notice that the pueblos and a certain class of cave-dwell- 
ings are scattered all over the region embraced in the bounds of 
the four great states of New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and 
Utah ; but there is a district lying close about the meeting place 
of the four states in which not only the pre-historic ruins of the 
plateaus and the valleys are found, but also many cliff-dwellings 
built into the dizzy recesses of the canon walls, imposing in their 
position and structure. Probably there is no other district in 
this once widely-inhabited region richer in these high cliff- 


dwellings than this Great Plateau, 30 miles long and 15 wide, 
called the " Mesa Verde." 

This great timbered plateau rises in rough, forbidding cliffs 
from 1,500 or 2,000 feet above the valley of the stream which 
passes through it, making a series of deep canons which are dis- 
tinguished for their remarkable scenery, isolation, and wildness. 
In the walls of these arid canons and in the midst of the high 
mountains the Cliff-men built some of their most elaborate and 
imposing fortresses, but wrung a meagre subsistence from the 
valleys below, fighting, meanwhile, for even this scanty foot- 
hold in the wilderness against the attack of a lurking, but a 
constantly-increasing savage foe. 

It will be seen from the following descriptions that this is one 
of the most singular regions of the entire country. It forms an 


isolated area, which was filled with an extensive population in 
pre-historic times, and was undoubtedly connected with the other 
areas to the south-east and south-west. It was, apparently, a 
most secure retreat from the attacks of the wild tribes which 
were constantly hovering about the edges of the Great Plateau 
region, and were frequently besieging the Pueblos in their homes. 
It was, however, a mountainous region, apparently destitute of 
resources for subsistence, and might be regarded as a poor place 
for permanent occupation. The question arises : " What kind 
of a life did the Cliff-dwellers lead in this region ? how did they 
secure a subsistence for themselves and their families ? " On 
this point there have been various theories, for some have main- 
tained that they were wild hunters, others that they were agri- 
culturists. We maintain, however, that they were mountaineers, 
and in proof would call attention to the following extracts : Mr. 
W. H. Holmes says : 

The Rio San Juan drains a great basin, covering over 20,000 square 
miles, as well as several great mountain masses bordering it. The tribu- 
taries to it head in the southern face of the Sierra Abajo, which is one of 
the highest peaks. 

The view from its summit is one of more than ordinary interest ; to the 
east the view is interrupted only by the La Plata and San Juan mountains, 
100 miles away ; in the south are the Sierra Carisso ; in the west are the 
Henry Mountains ; to the north, the Sierra La Sal, all in plain view, yet out- 
lining a circle, and including an area of 20,000 square miles. To the south 
lies the broad valley of the Rio San Juan, the delicate thread which lines 
its bank being barely visible through the notches cut by the deep side 
canons. Beneath us, on the west, is the Rio Colorado, though its course is 
scarcely traceable through the labyrinth of cliffs and canons. Beyond the 
San Juan, to the south-west, the wonderful forms of Monumental Valley can 
be seen. Beyond this the outlines of a broad table-land, which extends 
toward the Rio de Chelley and south-west toward the Moqui country. The 
drainage of this valley on the north connects it with the Rio Dolores, the 
divide between them being somewhat narrow, and the head waters inter- 
locking through the Great Plateau, separate these streams and the different 
branches of the San Juan. The table-lands intervene between the streams, 
on the west, such as Montezuma, the Hovenweep, the McElmo and the 
Epsom Creek, obtaining a very nearly uniform height of 00 feet, running 
up to nearly 1,000 feet as we approach the Dolores divide. , The San 
Maguel Mountains lie in the extreme north east corner, and constitute the 
divide between the waters of the Animas and Dolores on the south, and 
Rio San Maguel on the north. This divide reaches an altitude of 11,500 
feet. A conical peak, called Lone Cone, is a very prominent landmark.* 

Mr. W. H. Jackson describes the same region in the following 
words :. 

The " Mesa Verde " extends north and south about 20 miles, and east and 
west about 40 miles. It is of a grayish-yellow cretaceous sandstone, with a 
very nearly horizontal bedding, so that the escarpment is about equal on 
all sides, ranging from 600 to 700 feet in height. The side canyons pene- 
trate the mesa and ramify it in every direction, always presenting a per- 
pendicular face, so that it is only at very rare intervals the top can be 
reached. But once up there we find excellent grazing and thick groves of 
cedar and pinon pine. From the bottom of the canon up, the slopes of 
the escarpments are thickly covered with groves of cedar, gnarled and 
dwarfed. Below, the cottonwood and willow grow luxuriantly beside the 

* The map shows ruins and the streams upon which they are located, but faintly repre- 
sents the mountainous character of the country. 



average width of about 200 yards. 

Mr. F. H. Chapin, the great mountain climber, says: 
It is in that section of Colorado which is embraced by the " Mesa Verde" 
that the grandest, as well as the most picturesquely situated ruins have 
been discovered. This in connection with the fact that this land of canons 
and mesas is surrounded on the north and east by one of the most beautiful 
mountain chains in the world, renders the country the most fascinating 
field for the explorer. 


Mr. W. H. Jackson says : 

All that portion of the country lying between the " Mesa Verde " and the 
Sierra Abajo, covers an aggregate of some 2,500 square miles. Their 
labyrinthian canons head close to the Dolores on the north, and ramify the 
plateau in every direction with deep and desolate gorges and wide and 
barren valleys. There is not a living stream throughout this whole region. 
Between the Montezumas and the Hovenweep is a high plateau, running 
north and south from the San Juan to the Dolores. Upon this we found 
the remains of many circular towers, these generally occupying slight 

This mesa, or plateau, averages about 500 feet in height above the sur- 
rounding country, but does not contain a spring or a drop of water, except 


such as may remain in holes in the rocks after a shower. As cultivation 
was out of the question, it is very likelv that these towers were look-outs, 
or places of refuge for the shepherds, who brought their sheep here to 

As a great portion of this region is a bare bed of rocks, with the soil in 
the lowlands, nearly impervious to moisture, the winter's showers soon 
gather together their waters in great floods in the main channels, and form 
the deep "washes" so characteristic of the country. In some valleys, 
where the drainage is considerable, these " washes " attain a depth of from 
thirty to forty feet, and are impassable for many miles. 

Mr. Jackson further says in reference tc this region : 

The bottoms are from three to five miles in width, and bordering the 
stream, covered with dense growths of cottonwood and willows. The broad 
and fertile alluvial lands, well covered with grass, and the low sage bush 
benches bordering them, will, undoubtedly, prove a rich agricultural pos- 
session at no distant day.* 

Mr. W. H. Holmes also says: 

The district examined by our party covers an area of nearly 6,000 square 
miles, chiefly in Colorado, but which include narrow belts in the adjacent 
territories of New Mexico, Utah and Arizona. It lies wholly on the Pacific 
slope, and belongs almost entirely to the drainage system of the Rio San 

Juan, a tributary of the Colorado of the West. In the greater 

part of this region there is little moisture apart from these streams, and, as 
a consequence, vegetation is very sparse, and the general aspect of the 
country is that of a semi-desert. Yet there is bountiful evidence that at one 
time it supported a numerous population ; there is scarcely a square mile 
in the 6,000 examined that does not furnish evidence of previous occupa- 
tion by a race totally distinct from the nomadic savages who hold it now, 

and, in many ways superior to them I observe the fact that 

the great bulk of remains are on. or in, the immediate neighborhood of run- 
ning streams, or by springs that furnish a plentiful supply of water during 

the greater part of the year I also notice that the country is 

by no means an entire desert. All along the stream-courses there are 
grass-covered meadows and broad belts of alluvial bottom, affording, if 
properly utilized, a considerable area of rich tillable land. 

Such is the description of the region in which the Cliff-dwell- 
ings, as such, were found, a description which shows that the 
region was well chosen as the retreat of a people who seem to 
have been tugitives from the attacks of savage tribes, and who 
made these mountain fastnesses their abode at some period in 
the distant past, the date of which is now unknown. 

We are impressed by the thought that the Cliff-dwellers 
were hardy mountaineers, but, like other mountaineers, were 
accustomed to draw their subsistence from the valleys. Doubt- 
less, there was a strong influence in the scenery and surround- 
ings, which made it easy for them to have followed this double 
kind of life, and make their homes so high in the sides of the 
cliffs, and yet carry on their toils at so great a distance. 

They are not, however, the only people who have had their 
fields at a distance from their homes, for it is well known that 
the Pueblos are, even to this day, accustomed to form camps at a 
distance from their villages, and spend the summer in cultivating 
the fields, and carrying back their produce to the villages when 

* See Hayden's Report for 1876 ; page 412- 


One would suppose from the character of these mountain fast- 
nesses that the people would be the last to be driven out, yet as 
we read the descriptions of the pueblos on the Canon de Chaco. 
and especially the description of the cliff- dwellings in the " Mesa 
Verde," we find them all abandoned, the entire region left deso- 
late, with only a few wandering tribes occupying the river val- 
leys, placing their rude tents amid the ruins of the elaborate 
stone houses and towers and temples of the preceding people.* 

II. We turn next to the discovery of the Cliff-dwellings, or 
the so-called " High Houses," and the different classes of struc- 
tures which were associated with them. We find that while the 
high houses were the most interesting, yet there were many ruined 
towers situated in the valley, and clusters of ruined pueblos in 
various directions, all of which need to be studied in order to 
make up our minds as to the culture of the Cliff-dwellers. Let 
us then, take these in their order of discovery. The following 
is a description given by Mr. W. H. Jackson : 

In the extreme south-west corner of Colorado are groups of old ruined 
houses and towns, displaying a civilization and intelligence far beyond that 
of the present inhabitants. Commencing our observation in the park-like 
valley of the Mancos, between the Mesa and the mountains, we find that 
the low benches that border the stream upon either side bear faint vestiges 
of having, at some far-away time, been covered with dwellings, grouped in 
communities, apparently, but now so indistinct as to present to the eye 
little more than unintelligible mounds. By a little careful investigation, 
however, the foundations of great square blocks, of single buildings and of 
circular inclosures can be made out ; the latter, generally, with a depressed 
center, showing an excavation for some purpose. 

Entering the canon at its upper end we strike into the old Indian trail, 
which comes over from the head of the Rio Dolores, and passing down this 
canon a short distance, turns off to the left, and goes over to the La Plata. 

Grouped along in clusters and singly were indications of former habita- 
tions, very nearly obliterated, and consisting mostly, in the first four or five 
miles, of the same mound-like forms noticed above, and accompanied 
always by the scattered, broken pottery. 

As we progressed down the canon the same general characteristics held 
good, the great majority of the ruins consisting of heaps of debris, a central 
mass considerably higher and more massive than the surrounding lines of 
subdivided squares. 

We now commenced to note another peculiar feature. Upon our right, 
the long slopes of protruding strata and debris formed promontories, ex- 
tending out into the canon. Upon these, and not more than 50 feet above 
the stream, we found frequent indications of their having been occupied 
by some sort of works, the foundations of which, in every case, were circu- 
lar, with a deep depression in the center, and generally occurring in pairs, 

* The home of the Cliff-dwellers may be divided into four distinct localities, in each of 
which the ruins were discovered at different times and by different explorers. The division is 
as follows : 

ist. On the rivers which flow from the south to the north, including De Chaco, Amarillo, 
De Largo, apparently form the home of a people who dwelt in pueblos of the regular ter- 
raced class, descriptions of which have been given by Gen. Simpson, Newberry and others, 
from 1830 to 1851. 

2nd. The rivers which flow from the north to the south, including the La Plata, Ani- 
mas and San Juan, seem to have been the abode of a people who dwelt mainly in caves or 
cavate houses, descriptions of which have been given by W. H. Holmes in his report, while 
in connection with the Hayden survey, in 1875 and 1878. 

Beardsall, in 1887 ; and Baron Nordenksjold, in 1892, some of which we have designated High 
Cliff Dwellings. 


two side by side, ranging from 10 to 20 feet in diameter, There was no 
masonry of any kind visible, but, thickly strewn all about, any quantity of 
broken pottery. Above were indications of habitations in the face of the 
eliff, but not marked enough to warrant further search. At those places 
where the trail ran high up, near the more precipitous portion of the bluff, 
we found remnants of stone walls, inclosing spaces of from five to twelve 
feet in length in the cave-like crevices, running along the seams. Nothing 
of afhy greater importance was found up to the time we made camp at 

Our camp for the night was among the stunted pinons and cedars imme- 
diately at the foot of the escarpment of the " mesa," its steep slopes and 
perpendicular faces rising nearly 1,000 feet above us. 

Now comes the discovery of the first " High House:" See. fig i. 

Just as the sun was sinking behind the western walls of the canon, one of 
the party descried, far up the cliff, what appeared to be a house with a 
square wall and apertures, indicating two stories, but so far up that only 
the very sharpest eyes could define anything satisfactorily. We had no 
field-glass with the party, and to this fact is probably due the reason we had 
not seen others during the day in this same line, for there is no doubt that 
ruins exist throughout the entire length of the canon, far above and out of 
the way of ordinary observation. 

The discovery of this one, so far above anything heretofore seen, inspired 
us immediately with the ambition to scale the height and explore it, 
although night was drawing on fast, and darkness would probably overtake 
us among the precipices, with a chance of being detained there till night. 
All hands started up, but only two persevered to the end. The first 500 
feet of ascent were over a long, steep slope of debris overgrown with cedar ; 
then came alternate perpendiculars and slopes. Immediately below the 
house was a nearly perpendicular ascent of 100 feet that puzzled us for a 
while, and which we were only able to surmount by finding cracks and 
crevices into which fingers and toes could be inserted. From the little 
ledges occasionally found, and by stepping on each other's shoulders, and 
grasping tufts of yucca, one would draw himself up to another shelf, and 
then, by letting down a stick of cedfcr, or a hand, would assist the other. 
Soon we reached a slope, smooth and steep, in which there had been cut a 
series of undulating hummocks, by which it was easy to ascend, and with- 
out them, almost an impossibility. 

The house stood upon a narrow ledge, which formed the floor, and was 
overhung by the rocks of the cliff. The depth of this ledge was about 10 
by 20 feet in length, and the vertical space between the ledge and over- 
hanging rock some 15 feet. The house occupied the left-hand half as we 
faced it ; the rest being reserved as a sort of esplanade, a small portion of 
the wall remaining, which cut it off from the narrow ledge running beyond. 
The edges of the ledge upon which the house stood were rounded off, so 
that the outside wall was built upon an incline of about 45 degrees. The 
house itself, perched up in a little crevice like a swallow's nest, consisted of 
two stories, the total height being about 12 feet, leaving a space of two or 
three feet between the top of the walls and the overhanging rock.* The 
ground plan showed a front room, about 6x9 feet in dimensions, back of it 
two smaller rooms, the face of the rock forming their back walls. They 
were each about five or seven feet square, and in the lower front room are 

4th. The region which lies to the westward of the Mesa Verde, and which is drained by 
the Montezuma and the McElmo, the Hovenweep on the north, the Rio de Chelly on the 
south, is distinguished for the large number of remarkable ruins, some of which have been 
described by Gen. Simpson, Dr. W. H. Hoffman, W. H. Jackson and W. H. Holmes, and 
which constitute a series which is as varied in its character as those to the east of the Mesa 
Verde, but in which there are some remarkable specimens of High Cliff Dwellings, .or 
what might be called cave villages, or cliff towns. 


by b'r'.'jVwVFewkes, in'iSgo, at a place caliecfRed Rocks. [See American Anthropologist. 
August, 1896 ; page 265.] 

* This house is described on pages 126 and 127. 


two apertures, one serving as a door and opening out upon the esplanade, 
about 20x30 inches in size, the lower sill 24 inches from the floor, and the 
other a small outlook, about 12 inches square, up near the ceiling, and look- 
ing over the canon beneath. In the upper story a window, corresponding 
in size, shape and position to the door below, commands an extended view 
down the canon. Directly opposite this window is a similar one, opening 
into a large reservoir, or cistern, the upper walls of which come nearly to 
the top of the window. The entire construction of this little human eyrie 
displays wonderful perseverance, ingenuity and some taste. Perpendicu- 
lars were well regarded, and the angles carefully squared. The stones of 
the outer rooms, or front, were all squared and smoothly faced, but were 
not laid in regular courses, as they are not uniform in size, ranging from 
fifteen inches in length and eight inches in thickness down to very small 

About the corners and the windows considerable care and judgment were 
evident in the over-lapping of the joints, so that all was held firmly 
together. The only sign of weakness is in the bulging outward of the front 
wall, produced by the giving way, or removal, of the floor beams. The back 
portion is built of rough stone, firmly cemented together. 

Most peculiar, however, is the dressing of the walls of the upper and 
lower front rooms, both being plastered with a thin layer of firm adobe 
cement, of about an eighth of an inch in thickness, and colored a deep 
maroon red. with a dingy white band, eight inches in breadth, running 
around the floor, sides and ceiling. In some places it has peeled away, 
exposing a smoothly-dressed surface of rock. 

Ruins of half a dozen lesser houses were found near by, but all in such 
exposed situations as to be quite dilapidated. Some had been crushed by 
the overhanging wall falling upon them, and others had lost their foothold 
and tumbled down the precipice. One little house in particular, at the ex- 
tremity of this ledge, about fifty rods below the one described above, was 
especially unique in the daring of its site, filling the mind with amazement 
at the temerity of the builders, and the extremity to which they must have 
been pushed. 

Mounting our own animals we pushed on down the canon, which now 
opened out into quite a valley, side canons opening in from either hand, 
adding much to the space. Every quarter of a mile, at the most, we came 
upon evidences of former habitations, similar to those already described. 
Two or three miles below the house in Fig. i, we discovered a wall stand- 
ing in the thick brush upon the opposite side of the river. 

The walls discovered were a portion of an old tower. See fig. 
i, and 2, in plate. 

In the midst of a group of more dimly-marked ruins or foundations, extend- 
ing some distance in each direction from it. As seen in the figure referred 
to, the tower consists of two lines of walls, the space between them divided 
into apartments, with a single circular room in the center. The outside 
diameter of all is 25 feet, that of the inner circle 12 feet, and as the walls 
were respectively 18 and 12 inches in thickness, left a space of four feet for 
the small rooms. This outer circle was evidently divided into six equal 
apartments, but only the divisions marked in the diagram could be distin- 

Half a mile below, in the vertical face of the rock, and at a height of 
from 50 to 100 feet from the trail, were a number of little, nest-like 
habitations. l Communications with the outside world was from above to 
a small window-like door, not shown in the sketch. Two small apertures 
furnish a look-out over the valley. 

Near by, upon a low ledge, and readily accessible from below, is a string 
of five or six houses, evidently communicating, mere kennels compared 
with some others made by walling up the deep cave-like crevices in the 
sandstone. The same hands built them that lived in the better houses ; 
the masonry being very similar, especially the inside chinking, which was 
perfect, and gave the walls a very neat appearance. 2 

1 Fig. 5 plate illustrates one of them and their general character. 

2 Mr. E, A. Barber says that there was a tower just below the first " High House. (See 
Am. Naturalist, Aug., 1878.) 



Two or three miles further and the canon changes in feature again, the 
highest level of the mesa coming forward, and towering over the valley 
with a thousand feet of altitude, the bottom lands widening out to a half 
and three-quarters of a mile in breadth. 

Referring toFig. i, the position of these houses can be seen in the dark 
heavy lines near the summit, just above the most precipitous portion of the 
bluff, generally at a height of from 600 to 800 feet above the level of the 

The second discovery : (see plate fig. 7.) 

In the high bluff, on the right hand in the sketch, are some of the most 
curious and unique little habitations yet seen. While jogging along under 
this bluff, fully 1,000 feet in height, and admiring its bold outlines and bril- 
liant coloring, one of our party, sharper-eyed than the rest, descried, away 
up near the top, perfect little houses, sandwiched in among the crevices of 
the horizontal strata of the rock of which the bluff was composed. Two of 
the party started up to scale the height and inspect this lofty abode. By 
penetrating a side canon some little ways, a gradual slope was found that 
carried them to the summit of the bluff. Now, the trouble was to get down 
to the houses. This was accomplished only by crawling along a ledge of 
about 20 inches in width, and not tall enough for more than a creeping 
position. In momentary peril of life for the least mistake would precipi- 
tate him down the whole of this dizzy height our adventurous seeker after 
knowledge crept along the ledge until the broader platform was reached, 
upon which the most perfect of the houses alluded to stands. The ledge 
ended with the house, which is built out flush with its outer edges. This 
structure resembles in general features the cliff-houses already spoken of. 
The masonry is as firm and solid as when first constructed, the inside being 
finished with exceptional care. In width it is about five feet in front, the 
side wall running back in a semi-circular sweep ; in length fifteen, and in 
height seven feet. The only aperture was both door and window, about 
20x30 inches in diameter. In its uniqueness consisting in its position on 
the face of the bluff, to the casual observer this building it would not be 
noticed once in fifty times in passing, so similar to the rocks between which 
it is plastered does it appear from our position on the trail. A short dis- 
tance to the right, and on the ledge above, is another building of somewhat 
ruder construction, but with corners square and the walls truncated. 

The towers and observatories which were found in the vicinity 
of these remarkable cliff-dwellings are next described : 

Proceeding down the broad, open canon over the now very easy trail, 
we espied upon the opposite side of the stream a tower of apparently greater 
dimensions than the ones noticed above. The tower only remained ; this 
is circular, 12 feet in diameter, and now about 20 inches in height, the wall 
being about 16 inches in thickness. Facing the valley northward is a win- 
dow-like aperture, about 18x24 inches in size, the lower lintel some seven or 
eight feet above the base. Fig. 2 in plate. 

A short distance above our camp, and upon the top of the mesa, which, 
at this point, is not more than 125 feet above the valley, we found a tower 
very similar to that on the Mancos (see Fig. 5) but considerably larger, 
and surrounded by a much greater settlement. It is about 50 feet in 
diameter, and, like the Mancos one, double-walled, the space between the 
two about six feet in width, and sub-divided into small apartments by cross- 
walls, pierced with communicating doors or windows. Immediately sur- 
rounding this tower is a great mass, of which it is the center, of scattered 
heaps of stone debris, arranged in rectangular order, each little square with 
a depressed center, suggesting large sub-divided buildings, similar to the 
great community-dwellings of the Pueblos and Moquis and the old ruins of 
the Chaco. Upon the south-east corner of this group, and upon the very 
edge of the mesa, are the remains of another smaller tower, and below it, 
founded upon the bottom of a small canon, which run up at right angles to 
the McElmo, is a portion of a heavy wall. This group covers a space of 


about 100 square yards, while adjoining it, on the mesa, is group after group 
on the same plan, a great central tower and smaller surrounding build- 
ings. They cover the whole breadth and length of the land. Half a dozen 
miles down, and we came upon several little nest-lifce dwellings, very sim- 
ilar to those in Figs. 5 and 7, but only about 40 or 50 feet above the valley. 
Two miles farther, and we came upon the tower shown in Plate Fig. 9, 
upon the summit of a great square block of sandstone, some forty feet in 
height, detached from the bluff back of it. The building, upon its summit, 
is square, with apertures like windows upon two faces, looking east and 
north, and very much ruined, but still standing in some places about 15 feet 
above the rock on which it is built. At the base of the rock is a wall run- 
ning about it, a small portion only remaining, the rest thrown down and 
covered with debris from the house above. 

While passing the mouth of a wide side canon, coming in from the right, 
a tall, black-looking tower caught our eyes, perched upon the very brink of 
the mesa, overlooking the valley. (See fig. 2, on p. 84.) 

A huge block of sandstone has rolled down from the escarpment of the 
mesa above, lodging upon the very brink of a bench midway between top 
and bottom, and upon this the tower is built, so that from below both 
appear as one. They are of the same diameter, about 10 feet, and some 18 
feet in height, equally divided between rock and tower. In construction, 
it is similar to those already described, of single wall. It was evidently an 
outpost, or watch-tower, guarding the approach to a large settlement upon 
or beyond the mesa lying above it.* 

The solitary house discovered by Mr. Jackson, (see fig. 3.) on 
the Canon De Chelley should be mentioned in this connection. 
He says : 

Its construction is very similar to that of the house shown in fig. i, but it 
is over-hung by a less height of the impending bluff. It was reached by a 
series of steps cut into the rock. 

The house 20 feet in height, consists of two stories built against the 
sloping wall of the bluff. The lower story is 10x18 feet square, divided 
into two rooms, with a door communicating between the two, and a large 
door opening outward. The upper floor appears to have been in one room 
with one large window facing outward. Extensions erected upon either 
side and also a kind of structure in front, resembling a balcony covering 
the lower door-way. About twenty rods away at the foot of the bluff, there 
is a deep natural reservoir or basin, about thirty feet in diameter and the 
same in depth, that seems to have retained a perpetual supply of water. 

The most remarkable specimen of a high-cliff house is the 
one discovered by Mr. W. H. Holmes, and described as follows : 

The group given in this plate is of a very interesting and remarkable 
character. It was first observed from the trail far below, and fully one- 
fourth of a mile away. From this point, by the aid of a field-glass, the 
sketch given in the plate was made. So cleverly are the houses hidden 
away in the dark recesses, and so very like the surrounding cliffs in color, 
that I had almost completed the sketch of the upper houses before the 
lower, or " sixteen-windowed " one was detected, (see fig. 4.) 

They are, at least, eight hundred feet above the river. The lower five 
hundred feet is of rough cliff-broken slope, the remainder, of massive bed- 
ded sandstone, full of wind-worn niches, crevices and caves. Within one 
hundred feet of the cliff top, set deep in a great niche, with arched, over- 
hanging roof, is the upper house, its front wall built along the very brink of 
a sheer precipice. Thirty feet below in a similar, but less remarkable 
niche, is the larger house, with its long line of apertures, which I afterward 
found to be openings intended rather for the insertion of beams than for 

* See U. S. Geological and Geographical Survey of Colorado and Adjacent Vicinity, 1874. 
(Juotations from "Ancient Ruins in South-Western Colorado," by W. H. Jackson. 

5-^ -V irf-f 


This High House reminds us of th Cliff-Dwellings discovered by Nordenskjold in 1892. 
though the arrangement of the buildings on two separate ledges differs from any found else- 
where. Nordenskjold has described certain houses as furnished with balconies projecting 
in front of the house. He has spoken of others as having port-holes or openings in the 
walls through which arrows were shot, and quotes from Castaneda a description of port- 
holes built diagonally through the walls of the pueblos. The narrow passage which Holmes 
described as designed for entrance into the " Estufa," Nordenskjold thinks was designed 
for ventilation and speaks of this as characteristic of the Estufas of the cliff-dwellers. 



The lower house was easily accessible, and proved to be of a very inter- 
esting character. It occupies the entire floor of a niche, which is about 
sixty feet long and fifteen feet in depth at the deepest part. The front 
walls are built flush with the precipice, and the partition walls extend back 
to the irregular wall of rock behind. Portions of the wall at the left, view- 
ing the house from the front, are greatly reduced ; but the main wall, that 
part which contains the window-like openings, is still thirteen or fourteen 
feet high. The arrangement of the apartments is quite complicated and 
curious, and will be more readily understood by reference to the ground 
plan (Fig. i.) The precipice-line, or front edge of the niche floor, extends 
from a to b. From this the broken cliffs and slopes reach down to the trail 
and river, as shown in the accompanying profile (Fig. 3.) The line b, c, d 
represents the deepest part of the recess, against which the walls are built. 
To the right of b the shelf ceases, and the vertical face of rock is unbroken. 
At the left, beyond a, the edge is not so abrupt, and the cliffs below are so 
broken that one can ascend with ease. Above, the roof comes forward and 
curves upward, as seen in the profile. 

The most striking feature of this structure is the round-room, which 
occurs about the middle of the ruin, and inside of a large rectangular apart- 


ment. The occurrence of this circular chamber in this place is highly sig- 
nificant, and tends greatly to confirm my previously-stated opinion, that 
the circle had a high significance with these people. Their superstitions 
seem to have been so exacting in this matter that even when driven to the 
extremity of building and dwelling in the midst of these desolate cliffs, an 
inclosure of this form could not be dispensed with ; a circular estufa had 
to be constructed at whatever cost of labor and inconvenience. 

Its walls are not high and not entirely regular, and the inside is curiously 
fashioned with offsets and box-like projections. It is plastered smoothly, 
and bears considerable evidence of having been used, although I observed 
no traces of fire. The entrance to this chamber is rather extraordinary, 
and further attests the peculiar importance attached to it by the builders, 
and their evident desire to secure it from all possibility of intrusion. A 
walled and covered passage-way,//, of solid masonry, ten feet of which is 
still intact, leads from an outer chamber, through the small intervening 
apartmsnts, into the circular one. It is possible that this originally ex- 
tended to the outer wall, and was entered from the outside. If so, the per- 
son desiring to visit the estufa would have to enter an aperture about 
twenty-two inches high by thirty wide, and crawl, in the most abject man- 
ner possible, through a tube-like passage-way nearly twenty feet in tength. 

My first impression was that this peculiarly-constructed dooj-way was a 
precaution against enemies, and that it was, probably, the only means of 


entrance to the interior of the house, but I am now inclined to think this 
hardly probable, and conclude that it was rather designed to render a 
sacred chamber as free as possible from profane intrusion. The apart- 
ments, /, k, nt, n, do not require any especial description, as they are quite 
plain and almost empty. The partition walls have never been built up to 
the ceiling of the niche, and the inmates, in passing from one apartment to 
another, have climbed over. The row of apertures indicated in the main 
front wall are about five feet from the floor, and were doubtless intended 
for the insertion of beams, although there is no evidence that a second floor 
has at any time existed. 

In that part of the ruin about the covered passage-way the walls are 
complicated, and the plan can hardly be made out, while the curved wall 
enclosing the apartment is totatally overthrown The rock- 
face between this ruin and the one above is smooth and vertical, but by 
passing along the ledge a few yards to the left a sloping place was found, 
up which a stairway of small niches had been cut; by means of these an 
active person, unencumbered, can ascend with safety. On reaching the 
top, one finds himself in the very door-way of the upper house (a, Fig. 2) 
without standing-room outside of the wall, and one can imagine that an 
enemy would stand but little chance of reaching and entering such a for- 
tress, if defended even by women and children alone. The position of this 
ruin is one of unparalleled security, both from enemies and from the ele- 
ments. The almost vertical cliff descends abruptly from the front wall, and 
the immense arched roof of solid stone projects forward fifteen or twenty 
feet beyond the house. (See Section, Fig. 3.) At the right the ledge ceases, 
and at the left stops short against a massive vertical wall. The niche 
stairway affords the only means of approach. 

The house occupies the entire floor of the niche, which is about one hun- 
dred and twenty feet long by ten in depth at the deepest part. The front 
wall to the right and left of the doorway is quite low, portions having 
doubtless fallen off. The higher wall, f g, is about thirty feet long and 
from ten to twelve feet high, while a very low rude wall extends along the 
more inaccessible part of the ledge, and terminates at the extreme right in 
a small enclosure, as seen in the plan at c. 

In the first apartment entered there were evidences of fire, the walls and 
ceiling being blackened with smoke. In the second, a member of the party, 
by digging in the rubbish, obtained a quantity of beans, and in the third, a 
number of grains of corn, hence the names given. There are two small 
windows in the front wall, and the doorways communicate between rooms 
separated by high partitions. 

Figure 3 is given for the purpose of making clear the geologic conditions 
that give shape to the cliffs, as well as to show the relations of these houses 
to cliffs. The hard and massive beds of rock resist the erosive agents, the 
soft and friable beds yield, hence the irregularity. The overhanging cliffs, 
the niches, the benches, a, is a section of the lower house, b, of the upper. 

It has heretofore been supposed that the occupants of these houses ob- 
tained water either from the river below or from springs on the mesa 
ahove ; but the immense labor of carrying water up these cliffs, as well as 
the impossibility of securing a supply in case of a siege, made me suspect 
the existence of springs in the cliffs themselves. In three or four cases 
these springs have been found, and it is evident that with a climate a very 
little more moist than the present, a plentiful supply could be expected. 
Running water was found within a few yards of the group of houses just 
described, and Mr. Brandegee observed water dripping down the cliffs near 
a group of small houses on the opposite side of the canon. 

Mr. Holmes also discovered various towers which were asso- 
ciated with ruined dwellings. He says : 

The ruin, of which a plan is given, occurs on the left bank of the 
Mancos, about eight miles above the foot of the canon. It' is one of the 

* See Fig. on page i-i, Hayden's Report, 1878, page 391. 




best preserved specimens of the ruined 
towers and seems to have been built 
with much skill. It is nine feet in 
diameter on the inside, and about six- 
teen feet hi>{h. There are three rect- 
angular apartments attached. In the 
side of the tower lacing the river is a 
window about eight feet from the 
ground. This may have served as a 
doorway between the tower and one of 
the adjoining apartments. The advan- 
tage of such an arrangement in de 
fensive works is clearlv apparent, and 
evinces not a little intelligence and 
forethought on the part of the builders. 
Being built m connection with dwell- 
ings and places of resort, they could, 
in 'case of alarm, be reached with ease 
from within, and be altogether secure 
from without.* 

III. This leads us to consider 
the number and location of the 
towers. We have seen that they 
are very numerous in the valley 
of the San Juan, and especially 
so on the Mancos; some are on 
the higher promontories; others 
quite low, within twenty or thirty 
feet of the riverbed. Mr. Holmes 
visited and measured seven along 
the lower fifteen miles of the 
course of this stream. In di- 
mensions they range from ten to 
sixteen feet in diameter, and 
from five to fifteen feet in height, 
while the walls are from one to 
two feet in thickness. They are 
in nearly every case connected 
with other structures, mostly 
regular rectangular in form. At 
the mouth of the Mancos, how- 
ever, a double circle occurs, the 
smaller one having been the 
tower proper. It is fifteen feet 
in diameter, and from eight to 
ten feet in height. The larger 
circular wall is forty feet in 
diameter, and from two to four 
feet high, and is built tangent to 
the smaller. This ruin is at the 
point where the Mancos reaches 
the alluvial bottom, bordering 
the Rio San Juan, and about 

See Holmes' Report on the Ancient Ruins for 1875-76, page 391. 


one mile above its junction with the river. On the opposite 
or south side of the river are traces of somewhat extensive 
ruins but so indistinct that the character of the original 
structures cannot be made out. " No single mile of the Manco 
is without such remains." 

This distribution of the towers along the Mancos and of 
the ruins near them is very suggestive. It appears that then 
were different periods in which the Clitf -Dwellers continued to 
occupy this border land of the Pueblo territory, and through- 
out them all, they were constantly subject to attacks from an 
ever increasing foe which came down from the north, 
is to be sure, no record of these attacks, or of the changes 
which they produced, except such as archaeology gives; yet, 
judging from the different structures which are now in rums, 
we conclude that the occupation had lasted for many centuries, 
and that through them all the same danger continued. 


The problem before the archaeologist is to take these differ- 
ent ruins which are scattered along the valley of the San Juan 
and the Mancos and to decide which was the earliest, and 
which the later, and so make out a history from the ruins. 
Towers are connected with all the ruins of cliff dwellings 
with the walled-up caved houses, with the ruined pueblos, with 
the clusters of caches and little houses, and with the pretentious 
cliff villages, which are called cliff palaces, as well as with the 
high houses. 

There are places where there are no signs of either cave- 
towns or ruined pueblos or cliff palaces, but the houses are 
scattered around in the niches of the rocks without any sign of 

their being connected. Here there were look-out towers, which 


This cut shows the shape of the cliffs in which the high houses are situated. The dark 
lines near the top show the height of the houses above the valley. 

The cut on the preceding page illustrates the steepness of the cliff in which the high houses 
were built and the situation of the houses in the niches described on pages 82, 87 and 126. 



were built on the summit of isolated rocks, almost inaccessible, 
and the wonder is to what use they were put. If the people 
were driven to such straits as to build towers on the isolated 
rocks, what would become of their stores and their families 
in case of attack ? It may be that they were look-outs, 
designed to watch the approach of an enemy and to give warn- 
ing to the people, or they may have been used as lodging 
places for the men. There is a mystery about these isolated 
towers which were connected with the scattered houses, and 
yet they furnish .a hint as to the pertinacity with which the 
people clung to their old habitat. There were houses which 
were probably used as summer resorts or stations where the 
people from the pueblos dwelt during the summer, while they 

carried on their 
agricultural pur- 
suits in the valley. 
The two - story 
house in theCafion 
de Chelly was of 
this character. 
These towers 
which we are de- 
scribing, are gener- 
ally associated 
with houses of the 
cave kind, which 
were very numer- 
ous, as can be seen 
from the following 
description by Mr. 


We found them 
numerous enough to 
satisfy our most 
earnest desire, al- 
though not of the importance of the greater ones of the San Juan and 
De Chelly. All were of the small cave kind, mostly mere "cubby holes," 
but so smoke-blackened inside and showing other marks of use, as to con- 
vince us they had been long occupied, but not during any comparatively 
recent period. In the generality of cases, they were on small.benches, or 
in shallow caves situated near the bed of the stream, but the further up we 
went, the higher they were built. In one instance a bluff, several hundred 
feet in height, contained half a dozen small houses, sandwiched in its 
various stratas, the highest being up 150 feet; each of but one room, and 
one of them a perfect specimen of adobe-plastered masonry, hardly a crack 
appearing upon its smoothly stuccoed surface. A short distance up from 
the entrance to the canyon, a square tower has been built upon a command- 
ing point of the mesa, and in a position, so far as any means at our com- 
mand are concerned, perfectly inaccessible. 

Upon the opposite side of the main Epsom Creek Valley and on top of 
the high bluffs of sandstone, we found cave houses, divided into four or five 
apartments of just the size and number that would be required for an ordi- 
nary family of eight or ten persons. On the top of the bluff, we found the 
remains of a very old circular tower, forty feet in diameter, the stones all 


crumbled, rounded and moss covered. Near-by were the remains of two 
other cave habitations. A few miles further up the Epsom Valley, we came 
upon an important group that was evidently the centre of the suiroundmg 
population, an aboriginal town. Upon the edge of the ravine was a round 
tower, twenty-five feet in diameter, and seventy-five leet below was a square 
building. On the opposite bank, were two small round towers, each fifteen 
feet in diameter, with two oblong structures, twelve by fifteen feet, and 
another square building. 

Such is the account of the high houses and towers which 
were discovered and described by the early explorers. We 
learn from it, many things about the former condition of the 
mysterious people, who are called the Cliff- Dwellers. It 
appears that they were a peaceable sedentary people, who had 
been dependent upon agriculture for their subsistence, and 
who perhaps were allied to the Pueblos who dwelt far to the 
south; but had long made their homes in the rich valleys 
of the streams which rlowed through the mountains. They 
dwelt here, and here the)' buil-t their houses, first in the 
valleys, and deposited their crops in the caches which were 
furnished by the cavities in the rocks near-by. From these, 
they were driven by the wild tribes, such as the Utes, possibly 
the Navajos, who came down upon them in increasing num- 
bers. They then fled from their homes and built anew on the 
mesas, leaving their former habitations to go to ruin. These 
houses became unsafe, so they were compelled, as a last resort, 
to break up their villages, which had been concentrated in 
the valleys, and scatter their families; building homes for 
the women and children high up in the sides of the rocks, 
where the enemy could not reach them. The men remained in 
the valleys, and continued to carry on their accustomed em 
ployments. They continued in this way through many seasons, 
but the repeated attacks of their enemies compelled the men 
to build towers in the most inaccessible places and there station 
bands which would constantly act as watchmen. These towers 
were probably reached by rope ladders, and may have served 
as sleeping places for the men. There came a time, however, 
when the constant presence of their enemies prevented them 
from tilling the fields or gathering subsistence from any source, 
and they were compelled to leave the region altogether and 
make their homes elsewhere. 


By courtesy of Denver & Rio r.ranik- Railway. 



The descriptions given of the so-called "High Houses and 
Round Towers," which were discovered, in 1874, by Holmes 
and Jackson, in the valley of the San Juan, lead us to consider 
the cliff dwellings and ruined pueblos discovered since that 
time. It would seem that notwithstanding the great interest 
which was taken in these accounts, very few persons visited 
the region, or; if they did, they published no record, except 
Mr. L. H. Morgan, who made a hasty trip in 1877, and wrote 
a description of the ruins on the Animas and the MoElmo. 
The chief work which has been done since that time has 
been accomplished by private parties. 

Mr. F. H. Chapin visited the region in 1889 and 1890, and 
took photographs of several of the cliff houses including the 
Cliff Palace. He published the account of his expedition in 
the Journal of the Appalachian Club and in the AMERICAN 
ANTIQUARIAN, afterward published in a beautiful book* 

He was followed by Dr. J. P. Birdsall, who spent a few 
weeks in the same region, and wrote a description of his ex- 
plorations for the Geographical Society of New York, a part 
of which was published in the American Autiquarian. 

The person who accomplished the most in the way of ex- 
ploring, measuring and describing the cliff dwellings of this 
region was Nordenskjold, of Stockholm, Sweden. He was 
visiting America, and expected to spend only a few days 
among the cliff dwellings, but he became so much interested 
that he employed a number of men and thoroughly examined 
the ruins in the cliff canon and vicinty. He took photo- 
graphs of the ruins, measured the rooms made plats and 
ground plans and afterward published a large quarto volume 
in two languages, Swedish and English. 

He was followed by a party of young men who were em- 
ployed by the Illustrated American, and were led by Mr. W. 
K. Moorehead. Mr. Lewis W. Gunckel belonged to the party, 
and furnished some very interesting and valuable accounts of 
the ruins and the pictographs. This party began their explo- 
rations on the Animas, in the same region where Mr. J. G. 
Birney and Mr. L. H. Morgan had discovered a large commun- 
istic house, or pueblo, of the "honey-comb pattern." They 
passed along the Rio San Juan to the junction of the McElmo 
and Hovenweep, where were located most of the ruins de- 
scribed by Mr. W. H. Holmes. Here Mr. Gunckel took draw- 
ings of rock inscriptions and made plates of some of the ruined 

*See American Antiquarian Vol. XII. 


pueblos. The party then moved westward and visited a num- 
ber of cave towns and isolated dwellings situated in the Box 
canons, giving names to the villages and towns. No definite 
description of these has ever been published except in the 
Illustrated American. We purpose in this article to go over 
in review explorations in the Cliff canon and give a summary 
of the results which were reached, leaving the more definite 
description of the ruins in other localities to a future paper. 
We use the title "Cliff Palace and Its Surroundings" i ecause of 
the fact that these names were given to the most interesting 
ruins discovered, There were also in connection with these 
ruins a large number of "estufas," or "kivas," which were in 
reality temples at least the only temples known to the Cliff- 
dwellers or Pueblos. 

We shall begin with Mr. Chapin's account. He says: 
"The spires of the San Juan ranges had exercised a powerful 
fascination on me from the moment I first beheld them far to 

the eastward, in scaling the savage 
aretas of the Sierra Blanca. The spell 
became more fixed when, after a year's 
interval, emerging from the canon 
Gunnison, I saw the snowy summits 
piercing the blue sky only a score of 
miles to the southward. It was at its 
maximum as, leaving the main trans- 
continental line at Montrose, our little 
train sped directly toward them, giv- 
ing us constant views, now, on the left 
of the castellated ridges of mighty 
Umcompahgre, now, on the right, of 
the peaks about Ouray, culminating in 
Mount Snaefell, whose form was bare- 
ly traceable through the smoky haze 
FIG. i TOLTEC GORGE. that seemed to magnify its altitude.* 
Mr. Chapin first described the ruins in the Acowitz Canon, 
which joins the Mancos from the east. He says: 

"It is one of the finest of all the side ramifications, and contains antiqu- 
ities well worth investigating. A good Indian trail traverses the whole 
length of Mancos Canon, and similar paths lead for some distance up its 
branches; but to visit the remote ruins it is much easier to ascend the walls 
of the same canon to the surface of the mesa, cross the plateau and thus 
strike the tributaries up toward the beginnings. The ruins which we pro- 
pose to photograph is situated on the western cliff of Acowitz Canon. We 

*See Chapin's "Land of the Cliff Dwellers. 

The following is a list of photographs of Cliff dwellings and ruins furniahed by Mr. Chapin: 

1. General view of Mancos canon. 

2. Tower in Mancos canon. 

3. SandalCliff-House, estufal in Sandal Cliff-House and Inte.iior 

4. Plan of first Cliffdwelling visited. 

5. 'Fortification at Acowitz canon; also small Room lookout on upper ledge . Primitive grind- 
stone and plan of the Cliff-house. 

6. An impregnable Fort. 

7. Cliff Paiace. front view; ditto from opposite side: interior ofrouud Room; mural decor tion 
and north end of cliff palace and tower and T-shaped doorway. 


here found a wall which must have been used as a fortification. Stepping 
over the tumble-down walls and looking over the precipice, we found hewn 
steps on which we reacht-d the bottom of the way. A strange, wild, lonely 
canon. No sounds were heard to disturb the scene but the croaking of 
ravens as they flew over our heads. The great arched cliff hangs high 
above the ruins, but a little way from it the canon ends in sheer solid walls, 
which sweep round in a curve. Looking all about, we see but one exit 
above, and that by the steps which we had descended. Perched in a little 
cleft over our heads was a second group of buildings, apparently inaccessi- 
ble, and in good repair. 

On the south corner is a curious little building, to which there is one 
entrance. This, one would take for a window, but that no light could pass 
through it when the whole wall was standing. It was a fascinatingly queer 
place. \Ve were struck with the strength of the position, and believed that 
we could have kept in check a small army of combatants. We noticed 
some peculiar arrangements. One was a sort of a low cubby-hole, outside 
of the main structure [Fig. 5], 8 feet front and 5 feet deep, with two little 

doors. This may have 
been used as a store-room. 
We found much broken 
pottery. One of the cen- 
tral rooms is well plaster- 
ed, and is as smooth as a 
modern wall. A round 
room had piers below the 
ground floor. These also 
were plastered, and there 
were little recesses in the 
sides of the wall, which 
may have been used as 
shelves. There were some 
interesting grooves on a 
ledge of smooth sandstone. 
FIG. 2. SCENERY IN MARSHALL PASS. These grO oves in the rock 

were made by the natives in sharpening their tools. Most of them were 
large and were probably used for grinding all edges. On another ledge we 
observed smaller ones where knives, awls and needles were whetted. One 
remarkable thing, which showed the eccentricity of the builders, was a room 
which appeared to have no entrance; in fact, I walked around it without dis- 
covering I had passed a room. A little investigation revealed an entrance 
at the top. The enclosure was 8 feet square; the entrance, a hole i7^inches 
square. The ceiling was plastered over, and was very firm. [Fig. 6.] 

We discovered some houses in the Fourth Fork of Acowitz canon. 
Here stands a good circular room, with two doors. On the sand plateau, 
near the brink of the gorge, is the most remarkable crevasse that I ever 
saw. It made me shudder to look into it, though standing on the edge of a 
high cliff would produce no such sensation. From a pocket of the canon 
we had a remarkable view of the whole length of Acowitz to the Mancos, 
and than, through that depression, that magnificent mesa, which stands 
above the river's place of exit. It was a truly sublime sight. The nearer 
scene is a wild one: quaking aspens grow in the upper part of the gorge, 
and in the bottom are tall, stately pines, which climb to the top walls and 
were even with our eyes as we looked across the canon." 

Mr. Chapin next describes the location of the Cliff Palace. 
He says, 

"The honor of the discovery of the remarkable ruins to which the name 
"Cliff Palace" has been given, belongs to Richard and Alfred Wet ell," 



of Mancos. The family own large herds of cattle which wander about on 
the mesa verde. The care of these herds often call for long rides on the 
mesa and through the labyrinth of canons. During these long excursions 
many magnificent ruins have been discovered. Narrow, winding denies, 
precipitous, bold headlands aud overhanging ledges are the characteristics 
of one canon, called the Cliff Canon. 

"On reaching the bank of the canon opposite the wonderful structure, 
the observer cannot but be astonished at the first sight of the long line of 
solid masonry which he beholds across the chasms, here but a thousand 
feet wide. In the first burst of enthusiasm it strikes one as being the ruins 
of a great palace, erected by some powerful chieftain of the lost people. 
The best time to see the ruins is in the afternoon, when the sun is shining 
into the cavern. The effect is much finer than when viewed in the morn- 
ing. Surely its discoverer did not exaggerate the beauty and magnitude of 
this strange ruin. It occupies a great space under a grand oval cliff, ap- 


pearing like a ruined fortress, with ramparts, bastions and dismantled tow- 
ers. The stones in front have broken away, but behind them rise the walls 
of a second story, and in the rear of these, under a dark cavern, stands the 
third tier of masonry. Still farther back in the gloomy recess, little houses 
rest on upper ledges. [See Fig. 3.] A short distance down the canon i re 
cosy buildings, perched in utterly inaccessible nooks. [See Fig. 4.) 

"The scenery is marvellous. The view down the canon to the Mancos 
is alone worth the journey to see. To reach the ruins, one must descend 
into the canon from the opposite side What would otherwise be a hazard- 
ous proceeding is rendered easy by using the steps which were cut into the 
wall by the builders of the fortress. There are fifteen of these scooped-out 
hollows in the rock, which cover, perhaps, half the distance down the prec- 
ipice. One wonders at the good preservation of these hand-holes in the 
rocks; even small cuttings to give place for a finger are sometimes placed 
exactly right, even in awkward places. It is evident why they were so 
placed, and that they have not been changed by the forces of the air in sev- 

Many ruins were found in unsuspected places. Many were worth a visit, just to look at. Some 
appeared comparatively new; others as if they had been long occupied; and still others were 
much dilapidated, scarcely a vestige remaining. They commenced their excavations at the firtt 
Cliff-house in Mancos Canon, to which the name Samdal Cliff-house was given. This has been 
described by Mr. Chapin, and several illustrations of it are given in his book. They penetrated 
the depths of the Cliff canon and from this, and other places, gathered a large collection of relics, 
which were first placed in the Historical rooms at Denver, but were afterward sold to Rev. J. H. 
Green, who placed them on exhibition at the World's Fair and then so!d them to the University 
of Pennsylvania. 



eral hundred years that have probably elapsed since they were chipped out 
by an axe made of firmer rock. There occurs to my mirid but one explana- 
tion of their preservation: erosion by wind is one of the factors in chiseling 
rock-forms about the Mancos, and as we observe sand in these hollows, we 
suppose the wind at times keeps the grains eddying round, and thus erosion 
in the depression keeps pace, perhaps even gains, on the rate of denuda- 
tion of the smooth clirf. 

'It takes but a few minutes to cross the bed of the canon. In the bot- 
tom is a secondary gulch, which requires care in descending. We hung a 
rope, or lasso, over some steep, smooth ledges and let ourselves down by it. 
\Ve left it hanging there and used it to ascend by on our return Nearer 
approach increases the interest in the marvel. From the south end of the 
ruin, which is first attained, trees hide the northern walls, yet the view is 
beautiful. The space covered by the building is. ,125 feet long, 80 feet high 
in front, and 80 feet deep in the center, and 124 rooms have been traced out 


on the ground floor. So many walls have fallen that i' is difficult to recon- 
struct the building in imagination, but the photograph shows that there 
must have been several stories; thus a thousand persons may easily have 
lived within its confines. There are towers and circular rooms, square and 
rectangular enclosures, all with a seeming symmetry, though in some places 
the walls look as if they had been put up as additions at liter periods. One 
of the towers is barrel shaped; others are true cylinders. The diameter of 
one room, or estufa, is i6]/ 2 feet; there are six piers in it, which are well 
plastered, and five recess holes, which appear as if constructed for shelves. 
Inseveral rooms are good fire-places. One of our party built a fire in the 
largest one, which had a flue, but found the draught too strong for his light 
wood, and came near going up with the smoke. In another room, where 
the outer wall had fallen away, an attempt was made at ornamentation. A 
broad band had been painted across the wall, and above it a peculiar dec- 
oration, the lines of which were similar to embellishment on the pottery. 
In one place corn-cobs were embellished in the plaster, the cobs as well as 
the kernels of corn were of small size, similar to that which the Ute squaws 
raise without irrigation. Besides corn, it is known that the Cliff-dwellers 
raised beans and squash. We found a large stone mortar, which may have 
been used to grind the corn. Broken pottery was everywhere present. 
Specimens similar to those we had collected in the valley ruins convincing 
us of the identity of the builders of the two classes of houses. We found 
parts of skulls and skeletons, and fragments of weapons and pieces of cloth. 
The burial place of the clan was down under the rear of the < a \ < . 


Notwithstanding the imposing name which we have given it, and which 
its striking appearance seems to justify, it was a eommumstic dwelling, or 
clan village. There is no hall leading through it, and no signs that it was a 
home prepared for the ruler of a people. It owes its beauty principally to 
the remains of two towers, and its magnitude to the fact that the length ot 
the platform (ledge) and depth and height of the natural arch allowed ot 
such a building in such a remote quarter. This large, open cave, as well as 
others in this region, are natural, and do not appear to have been enlarged 
in any way by man." * 

Mr. Chapin also visited a number of other cliff dwellings, 
several of them in the Navajo canon, a branch of the Mancos 
canon. To these names have been given, which are descript- 
ive of their peculiartiea. He speaks of one which is well pre- 
served and which, perched high up on a cliff, looks as if newly 


constructed. To this the name of "Balcony House" has been 
given, as timbers project from the high walls. In another canon 
are three interesting ruins in close proximity. In one of these 
houses is a fire-place which has a raised hearth and fender. In 
another house is an estufa, where there is a fire-place once 
honored with a chimney .f 

*There are few caves in the valley of the San Juan and the Mancos, whibh seem to have been 
deepened and walled up, descriptions of which have been given by \V. H. Holmes and Mr. Jack- 
son. A la-ige number of such caves are found on the Salado river to the southwest of this, and 
on the headwaters of the (iila river, and the tributaries of the Rio Grande. These have been de- 
scribed by Mr. A. F. Handelier, Maj. J. W. Powell, Charles F. Lummis, Victor Mindclfff. None 
of these present any such specimens of architecture as the Cliff Palace. 

fFire-places have been rarely observed among the Cliff dwellings. Mr. Holmes describes 
one in the Mancos canon. Mr. Walter J. Fewkes describes fire-places found in the ruins near 
Zuni. Mr. V. F. Bickford says [Century Magazine, Oct., 1890], in describing ruins on the Chaco, 
neither fire-places nor flues are to be found, and it is probable that fires were never built in the 
living apartments. Fire-places were found in nearly al! the estufas, and an air chamber connect- 
ing the estufa with the outside air in such a way as to make a draft through the estufa, and thus 
carry the smoke up throng the opening in the roof. 


The "Spruce Tree House" was another ruined building 
which he photographed and de-scribed in his book. His de- 
scription of this is as follows: 

"About the best preserved specimen of a cliff-dwelling eyrie 
at least one that retains more features of interest than many 
of the other ruins is one that is situated in a right-hand 
branch of the second large right-hand fork of Navajo canon. 
It is about three hundred feet long. Under a natural shelter- 
ing rock, remains of three stories are standing. Originally the 
building was probably five stories high, and was built in the 
form of a terrace, the two lower tiers having been built outside 
the limits of the arch, and lower than the platform of the cave, 


so that what we now see standing are the three upper stories, 
The lower parts of the edifice, more exposed to weatherings 
have mostly crumbled away. The entrance to apartments in 
the cave was probably made by passing over the top of the 
outside buildings. 

"The masonry of the building is all of very good order; the 
stones were laid in mortar and the plastering carefully put on, 
though, as the centuries have elapsed, it has peeled off in cer- 
tain spots. At the north end of the ruinfis a specimen of 
masonry not to be seen in any other ciiff house yet discovered. 
This is a plastered stone pier which supports the wall of an 
upper loft. It is ten inches square and about four feet high. 
Resting on it are spruce timbers, which rnn from an outer wall 
across the pier to the back of the cave. . Above the pier is a 


good specimen of a T-shaped door with lintel of wood and sill 
of stone. 

The largest cliff-dwelling described by Mr. Chapin is one 
to which he gave the name of the "Loop-Hole Fortress." He 
describes it as follows: 

"There is another mighty arch in one of the Navajo canons 
which shelters a ruin well worthy of description, The build- 
ing is visible from the brink of the canon, as one journeys up 
its length. To find a place to descend, one must round the 
head of the canon and follow a long winding route over and 
under ledges to the canon bed. The noble arch rises a hund- 
red feet above the natural platform. The sloping bed of the 
canon reaches to the base of this platform, which rises like a 
terrace to a height of about twenty feet. Trees and bushes 
grow up to the base of the ledge. The ledge is approximately 
480 feet long, as we determined by pacing. This is the largest 
cliff-dwelling yet discovered in this region. The front walls 
were built upon the rim of the platform, which is curved to the 
general f.orm of the ampitheatre, and gives the building the 
appearance of an impregnable fortress. The walls of solid 
masonry remain firm, and present an imposing front. In the 
center the stones have broken away in such a manner as to 
leave standing a high wall, which gives a gothic appearance to 
the ruin. 

"At one end three stories remain standing; the upper room 
is squeezed in under the arch and was entered by a low door. 
These high-standing walls show how the cliff dwellings were 
originally constructed. They reached to the roof of the cave, 
and were necessarily higher in front than in the rear, for the 
cliffs make over them an arch which served as a natural roof. 
As first built, much more space thau the platform was utilized, 
and a lower terrace occupied. Walls that divided rooms and 
formed the ends of the structure run down among the trees 
and bushes; the lateral walls have all fallen down. In some 
places, where the ground is steeply inclined, the stones of the 
ruin lie like a talus on a mountain-side. 

"On ledges above the main edifice are smaller buildings, 
and in one cranny is a long, low structure, with thirteen loop- 
holes in front and two at the end. Those in front open at dif- 
ferent angles, so that any approach from below could be ob- 
served by the watching cliff-climbers. From this fact I have 
named this ruin the "Loop-Hole Fortress." This ruin, if un- 
disturbed, will doubtless remain for centuries in about its pres- 
ent condition, and cannot but fascinate the archaeologists who 
shall chance to visi^ it. Perhaps these same ruins, if placed on 
a plain, or in a quiet valley, would not appeal so strongly to 
our sense of the marvellous. Here, in a remote canon, far 
from the river, far from water of any kind, with high frowning 
walls upon three sides and an untracked ravine below it, one 


wonders why the lost tribes should have selected such a place 
for their home. 

"The standing masonry, in itself, is of interest. The solid 
front does not give the idea of patchwork, as presented in 
many of the buildings of che Cliff-Dweflers. Standing on the 
parapet and looking along the front line, there is not a break 
to be seen in its continuity, except as the platform bulges in or 
out. Save that the stones were already at hand, shapen by 
the elements as they had broken off from the cliffs and over- 
hanging ledges, the marvel would be greater that a people, 
with only stone and wooden tools, could have accomplished 
such a work The light of noonday floods the walls of the 
ramparts and penetrates into the deep recesses of the cave, 
but as the sun sinks westward a dark shadow creeps across the 
front of the caver and the interior is deep gloom. It is then 
that the explorer, standing among the crumbled walls and gaz- 
ing up at the loop-holes above, or following with his eye the 
course of the canon down to its end where it joins the greater 
gorgef wonders what events happened to cause this strong 
fortress to be deserted or overthrown. There must have been 
a fearful struggle between a people who were emerging from 
barbarism, and more savage hordes, or some great catastrophe 
of Nature overwhelmed them." 

Mr. Nordenskjold's description of the Cliff Palace corres- 
ponds to that given by Mr. Chapin, but is more complete. 
In a long but not very deep branch of Cliff canon, and near 
a wild and gloomy gorge lies the largest of the ruins on the 
mesa verde. Strange and indescribable is the impression on 
the traveler, when, after a long and tiresome ride through mo- 
notonous pinon forests, he suddenly halts on the brink of the 
precipice and in the opposite cliff beholds the ruins of the 
Cliff Palace, framed in the massive vault of rock above, and in 
a bed of sun-lit cedar and pinon trees below. This ruin well 
deserves its name, for with its round towers and high walls 
rising out of the heaps of stones deep in the mysterious twi- 
light of the cavern, and defying, in their sheltered site, the 
ravages of time, it resembles, at a distance, an enchanted cas- 

The Cliff Palace is probably the largest ruin of its kind 
known in the United States. In the plate which represents the 
whole series, over a hundred rooms are shown. About twenty 
of them are estufas, Among the rubbish and stones in front 
the ruin are a few more walls not marked in the plan. The 
stones are carefully dressed, and often laid in regular courses; 
the walls are perpendicular, sometimes leaning slightly inwards 
at the same angle all around the room, this being part of the 
design, AH the corners form almost perfect right angles 
when the surroundings have permitted the builders to observe 
this rule. This remark also applies to the dwellings, the sides 
of which are true and even. The lintel often consists of a 


large stone slab, extending right across the opening. On 
closer observation we find that in the Cliff Palace we may dis- 
cern two slightly different methods of building. The lower 
walls, where the stones are only rough hewn and laid without 
order, are often surmounted by walls of carefully dressed 
blocks in regular courses. This circumstance suggests that the 
cave was inhabited during two different periods. 

The rooms of the Cliff Palace seem to have been better pro- 
vided with light and air than the cliff dwellings in general, 
small peep-holes appearing at several places in tne walls. The 
door-ways, as in other cliff-dwellings, are either rectangular or 

Mr. Nordenksjold lays great stress on the skill to which 
the walls of the Cliff Palace bear witness, and the stability and 
strength which has been supplied to them by the careful dress- 
ing of the blocks and the chinking of the interstices with small 
chips of stone. A point remarked by Jackson in his descrip- 
tion of the ruins of southwestern Colorado, is that the finger- 
marks of the masons may still be traced in the mortar, and that 
these marks are so small as to suggest that the work of build- 
ing was performed by women. 

Like Spruce Tree House, and other large ruins, the Cliff 
Palace contains at the back of the cave extensive open spaces, 
where tame turkeys were probably kept. In this part of the 
village three small rooms, isolated from the rest of the build- 
ing, occupy a position close to the cliff; two of them built of 
large flat slabs of stone, lie close together; the third, of unhewn 
sandstone, is situated farther north. These rooms may serve 
as examples of the most primitive form of architecture among 
the Cliff people. 

In the Cliff Palace, the rooms lie on different levels, the 
ground occupied by them being very rough. In several places 
terraces have been constructed, in order to procure a level 
foundation, and here, as in their other architectural labors, the 
Cliff-dwellers have displayed considerable skill. T 

*Some of the latter are of unusual size; in one instance 1.05 m. high and 0.61 m. broad at the 
top. The thickness of the walls is generally about 0.13 m., sometimes, in the outer wails, as much 
aso.65 m. As a rule they are not painted, but, in some rooms, covered with a thin coat of yellow 

e-ruums. i nese cnamoers iront on a street,' on tne opposite side ot wnicn lie a 
number of apartments, among them a remarkable estufa. In front lies another estufa, and not 




Not far from Cliff Palace, Mr. Nordenskjold found the re- 
markable and extensive cliff-dwelling, which he called "Bal- 
cony House." The following is his description: 

This cliff dwelling is the best preserved of all the ruins on the Mesa 
Yerda. It also seems as if the architecture of the Cliff people had here 
reached us culminating point. Still more care has been bestowed on the 
erection of the walls in general than in the Cliff Palace. Balcony House 
occupied a better position for purposes of defense than the other large 
ruins described. A handful of men, posted in the cliff-house, coutd repel 
the attack of a numerous force. At the south end of the ruin, additional 
precautions have been taken for the strengthening of its defense. A very 
narrow cleft, which forms the only means of reaching the south part of the 
ledge, has been walled up to a height of nearly i6> feet. The lower part 
of the wall closing this cleft is pierced by a narrow tunnel. Through this 
tunnel a man may creep on hands and knees from the '-Jiff dwelling to the 
south part of the ledge, The latter affords a footing, with the precipice to 
the left and the cliff to the right, for about a hundied paces, the ledge being 
here terminated by the perpendicular wall of the canon. The ruined walls 
of a strong tower, built to cut off approach on the side, may still be traced. 
A supporting wall has been erected on a lower ledge, to form a stable foun- 
dation for the outer wall of the upper rooms, where the higher ledge was 
too narrow or too rough for building purposes, The total height of the 
wall has thus been raised to 6.5 m. South of the room fronted by this wall 
is a small open court, bounded at the base by a few very regular and well- 
preserved walls, which rise to the roof of the cave. On the outer side the 
court is enclosed within alow, thick wall, built on the edge of the preci- 
pice. The second story is furnished; along the wall just mentioned, with 
a balcony, the joists between the two stories project a couple of feet, long 
poles lie across them parallel to the walls, the poles are covered with a 
layer of cedar bast and finally with diied clay. This balcony was used as 
a means of communication between the rooms in the upper story. The 
roof of the rooms just north of this point is constructed in the same manner 
as the balcony just described. It projects a few feet beyond the walls on 
two sides, forming a spacious platform. In most of tho cliff-dwellings the 
roofs probably consisted of similar platforms, and it was presumably here 
that the cliff-dwellers spent most of their time and performed their house- 
hold duties, as the custom is to the present day among the Moki Indians 
of Arizona Near the cliff, between the platform and the balcony, is a deep 
hole, forming a small passage; through which it is possible to descend by 
the aid ol some pegs driven into the walls, to a narrow ledge, Ladders 
seem, as mentioned above, to have been seldom employed by the Cliff- 
people. The perilous climbs, that formed a part of their daily life, had in- 
ured them to difficult pathways. 

The staple industry of the Cliff-people was the cultivation of maize. 
This may be gathered from the plentiful remains of this cereal to be seen 
everywhere in the cliff dwellings and their neighborhood. Well-preserved 
ears of maize are sometimes found in the ruins. They beiong to several 
varieties, and are yellow or reddish brown. 

Besides maize, the Cliff-dwellers cultivated beans of a brown variety, 
solitary specimens of which I found in some ruins, and probably some 
species of gourds. The stalks of the latter are common; bits of the rind 
are ;ilso found, and, mote seldom, the seeds. Cotton was used by the Cliff- 
dwellers, as the raw material of superior textile fabrics, numerous frag- 
ment of cotton cloth, have been found. The cotton shrub was probably 
cultivated by the Cliff-people, at least in some localities, for in the cliff- 
dwellings of southern Utah the seeds of this shrub have been observed, 

The yucca plant affoided an excellent raw material for rope, cord, and 
coarse woven fabrics. This plant, which is extremely common both on the 
mesa and in the beds of the canons, has long, narrow, sharp leaves, com- 
posed of long and very tough fibres. 

The animal kingdom, too, was laid under contribution for nrsccllan- 


eous purposes. Several circumstances lead us to the conclusion that the 
Cliff-dwellers kept tame bird?, probably the turkey, in a domesticated state. 
This bird probably supplied the down of which the so-called feather cloth, 
or railier down cloth, was made, for the maierial consists of the humeral 
quill-coverts of a gallinaceous bird, 

Among a variety of implements, awls are the most common. They are 
found in great numbers in all the cliff dwellings, and also among the frag- 
ments of pottery in the barrows on the mesa. They were made of the 
bones of birds and small mammals, and sharpened on the face of the sand- 
stone cliff. 

Mr. Nordenksjold also explored a group of ruins situated in 
Cliff canon, to which he gave the name of the "Long House," 
though this is the same ruin which Mr. Chapin calls the "Loop 
Hole Fort," as the situation of the buildings on the ledge of 
rocks and the presence of certain loop-holes through the walls 
suggested the idea that it was both a dwelling and a fortress, 
though Mr. Mindeleff claims that the cliff houses were not 
fortresses, but were temporary residences. The following is 
the description of the fortress, what he calls the "Long House:" 

"From the bottom of the canon we force our way through dense, thick- 
ets some hundreds of feet up the slope. Here we reach the deep cliffs, 
rising ledge upon ledge, to the mesa. The ruin lies upon one of the lowest 
ledges, and the climb, though troublesome, is attended with no serious diffi- 

'lAmong half ruined walls and % heaps of stones, we can distinguish 
eleven different rooms, lying in an irregular row along the narrow shelf 
close to the edge of the precipice, and sheltered by the overhanging rock. 
The way by which we have climbed has led us first into a circular room, or 
estufa, still in a fair state of preservation. The wall that lies nearest the 
precipice is, for the most part, in ruins; the rest of the room is well pre- 
served. After about half a metre of dust and rubbish had been removed, 
we were able to ascertain that the walls formed a cylinder 4.3 metres in di- 
ameter. The thickness of the wall is considerable and varies, the spaces 
between the points where the cylinder touches the walls of the adjoining 
rooms having been filled up with masomy. The height of the room is 2 m. 
The roof has long since fallen in, and only one or two beams are left among 
the rubbish. To a height of 1.2 m from the floor the wall is perfectly even 
and has the form of a cylinder, or, rather, of a truncate cone, as it leans 
slightly inwards. The upper portion is divided by six deep niches into the 
same number of pillars. The floor is of clay, hard and perfectly even. 
[See Fig. 6.] Near the center is a round depression, or hole, entirely frill 
of white ashes, undoubtedly the hearth. Between the hearth and the outer 
wall stands a narrow curved wall, 8 m.high. Behind this wall, iu the same 
plane as the floor, is a rectangular opening, which forms the mouth of a 
narrow passage or tunnel, which runs in horizontal direction, and then goes 
straight upwards out into the open air,* 

The wall between the hearth and the singular passage, or tunne , is re- 
placed by a large slab of stone, set on end. It is difficult to say for what 
purpose this tunnel has been constructed, and the slab of stone or the wall 
erected in front of it. As I have mentioned above this arrangement is 
found in all the estufas. The entrance to the estufa was probably in the 

Excavations were begun. Among the many objects discovered were 
half of a bow, three or four arrows, a stone axe with handle and a bone and 

Similar openings, or air flues, were discovered by Mr. W.H. Holmes, by Mr. Chapin and 
Mr. Louis W. Guenckel. Mr. Mindeltffalso discovered the same in the canon de Chilley, and de- 
scribes, it in the XVth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, and gives cuts to illustrate 
it. It was undoubtedly designed as a flue, or air chamber, and served the double purpose of a 
ventilator for the room and a draft for carrying the smoke up through the roof, 




knife. It was evident that not the least trace of moisture had been able to 
reach the rooms under the sheltering rock. And this explains how such 
things as cotton cloth, wooden implements, string, pieces of hide, and the 
like, were in a perfect state of preservation. My catalogue includes more 
than a hundred objects. The most of them were such as were found every- 
where in the other cliff dwellings. These would include: pieces of hide, 
chiefly of deer and mountain sheep, which were used for belts; moccasins, 
and bags which contained salt; pieces of cloth, well and evenly woven, 
rather roarse; a great number of wooden and bone implements, and 
numerous fragments of hide and woven articles. Among the most common 
articles were pieces of cords, yucca fibre, sandals, pottery, maize, imple- 
ments of bore and wood and stone implements. Not a trace of metal has 
been found. The list shows that the former inhabitants of the cliff dwell- 
ings were an agiicultural people on the level of the Stone Age, who had 
attained a very high rank in the art of weaving and ornamenting. 

On examining the interior of the estufas in Long House, we find even 
there exactly the same arrangement: a round hollow near the middle, filled 
with ashes; between the hollow and the wall a low partition; behind the 
partition the entrance of the above-mentioned passage, which first runs a 
few metres in a horizontal direction and then straight up to the bottom of 
the niche, or out into the open air; and, lastly, the six deep, broad niches in 
the circular wall, separated by the same number of pillars. The estufa 
itself is enclosed in a quadrangular room; the space between the inner 
cylindrical walls and the outer rectilinear ones is filled up to a level with 
the walls of the estuta, the cylindrical room b'eing thus embedded in a 
solid cubical mass of masonry. In all the estufas the same construction is 
repeated, and the dimensions of the rooms are almost exactly similar. 

Below this row of six estufas lies a series of rooms, for the most part 
buried under heaps of rubble and stones. Further east, on the same ledge 
as the estufas. lies a block of rooms, the walls of which are still in a good 
state of preservation, and extend quite up to the roof rock. The innermost 
of these is more than six metres long, rather narrow and almost dark. On 
the outer side of this room lie two others which formerly possessed an upper 
story, and the rafters are still in position, and projecting out a foot or two 
where they probably afforded the Cliff-Dwellers a hold for the hand in pass- 
ing the narrow ledge outside the wall. East of these two rooms, lie three 
more, then comes a long open space; in front of this, along the ledge a 
long row of rooms reached by climbing up to the upper shelf, a few holes 
having been hewn by the Cliff-Dwellers in the sandstone to give a foothold 
and to make the ascent less difficult. Behind the long row of rooms it is 
possible to follow the free inner part of the cave all the way to the eastern 
extremity of the ruin.* Outside of this last-mentioned series of rooms lie 
two estufas, and below these, to the south, a series of rooms on the lower 
level. At some place further east the cave ends. 

The walls of the other rooms in Long House are constructed in the 
same manner as in the town first described; their thickness is also the 
same, or an average of 0.3 m. The dimensions of the rooms may be esti- 
mated at 2.2x2.5 m., with a height of about 2m. All the doorways are 
small, measuring 0.5x0.7 m., and have served as windows as well. They 
resemble the doorways of the other cliff dwellings. The estufas are of 
similar form and almost the same size everywhere. They never have an 
upper story, and they generally He, when the nature of the ground permits, 
with the floor sunk lower than that of the adjoining rooms of the ordinary 

A triangular tower, one wall of which is formed by the cliff, and which 
still stands to its full height of four stories is a most interesting feature of 
the place. One cannot help admiring the skill with which it has been 
erected. The thickness of the walls is about three metres. The east part 

It will be noticed that in Jackson's and Holmes' description of the Cliff House in the Canon 
de ChelNthat a narrow passage runs parallel to the edge of the cliff, but back of the houses to 
fhetwo-Jtory group at the enl The whole front pf the town is without an aperture save a few 
small windows, perfectly inaccessible. 


of the second story is composed of a niche, the roof of which, is formed of 
sticks laid across the opening, covered with twigs ?.nd a layer of mortar. 
The floor of the niche is pierced by a narrow passage leading to an estufa 
hard by. The room in the third story is small, and the upper room is so 
tiny that it is impossible for a human being to gain entrance. 

I have still to describe one part of Long House, and this not the least 
remarkable. About fourteen metres above the ruins just described, in the 
overhanging vault, are two long, narrow, horizontal shelves, separated by 
the smootn rock. Along the edge of these shelves run low walls, pierced 
with small loop-holes. The ledge itself was quite narrow, the rock above 
it so low that one had to creep on hands and knees. The wall along the 
ledge was only one metre high and fourteen metres long. In the wall we 
found fifteen small apertures only a few inches wide. These apertures 
must undoubtedly have been loop-holes for arrows, and were skillfully 
arranged in all directions, so that the archers were able to command all the 
approaches to the cliff dwelling, and could discharge a formidable shower 
of arrows upon an advancing enemy. 

A few words in reference to the people who inhabited the 
Cliff Palace will be appropriate here. It will be understood 
that no survivor of the Cliff-Dwellers has ever been met, and 
no tribe has ever been discovered with reliable traditions as to 
ever having occupied the territory. The only evidence is fur- 
nished by the skulls. It may be said here that recently a party 
has explored the region who claim to have found a very ancient 
race, different from the ordinary Cliff-Dwellers. Dr. Birdsall 
also says: 

A theory prevails in Colorado, which the writer was unable to trace to 
its originator, that three distinct races inhabited the land : the mesa-dwellers, 
with perfect skulls; the cliff-dwellers, with skulls having a perpendicular 
occipital flattening, and the valley-dwellers, with skulls having an oblique 
occipital flattening. The theory is based on the fact that different shaped 
skulls have been found at these different situations. The number of skulls 
examined under the writer's observation were not sufficient to establish 
much; yet he saw skulls removed from the mesa mounds which, contrary to 
the theory, were both horizontal and oblique flattening. The cliff-house 
skulls were perpendicularly flattened, and all these flattened skulls were 
symmetrical. The angle and plane of flattening vary in different skulls, so 
that it may be readily conceived that in a large number of skulls we might 
find intermediate grades from the perpendicular to the oblique forms. 

The burial mounds on the mesa contain the decayed remains of human 
skeletons in abundance, and many in a fair state of preservation, yet noth- 
ing but the bones remain and pieces of pottery that were buried with the 
body, these usually in fragments. When the attitude can be determined, 
it is usually the flexed position, the body having been laid on the side. 
Skeletons are also found buried among the ledges, where occasionally, 
under the protection of some large mass of rock, sufficient earth has been 
retained in which a shallow grave could be excavated. The best preserved 
human remains are found in the dry material under the cliffs. 

This description of the cliff palace is very suggestive of the 
social progress and the grade of advancement, but does not 
give much information in reference to the history of the peo- 
ple who occupied the region. 

The problem before the archaeologist is to take these differ- 
ent ruins, which are scattered along the valley of the San Juan 
and the Mancos, and to decide which was the earliest, and 
which the later, and so make out a history from the ruins. 


Features are connected with all the ruins of cliff dwellings 
with the walled-up caved houses, with the ruined pueblos, with 
the cluster of caches and little houses, and with the pretentious 
cliff villages, which are called cliff palaces, as well as with the 
high houses, which make it evident that a long period haselapsed 
since the people began to make their homes here, for the very 
rocks in which they had their habitations have become weather 
worn, and are so wasted away that the front of th'eir houses 
have disappeared altogether. 

So great has been the erosion that many of the caves are 
not deep enough to give shelter to a bird or bat. The towers 
were situated immediately above the caves, and belonged to 
the community of Cave Dwellers and served as their fortress, 
council chambers and places of worship. Being on the border 
of a low mesa country that rises to the north, the strong out- 
side walls were doubtless found necessary to prevent incursions 
from that direction, while the little community by means of 
ladders, would be free to pass from dwelling to temple and 
fortress without danger of molestation. Theie is every evi- 
dence of age, both in the cave dwellings and in the walled 
enclosures above. The manner of walling up the fronts of the 
cave dwellings was observed frequently on the Rio Mancos. 
A large group situated on this stream, about ten miles above its 
mouth, was subsequently examined. The walls were in many 
places quite well preserved and new looking, while all about, 
high and low, were others in all stages of decay. In one 
place in particular, a picturesque outstanding promontory has 
been full of dwellings, literally honey-combed by this earth- 
burrowing race, and as one from below views the rugged, 
window-pierced crags, he is unconsciously led to wonder if they 
are not the ruins of some ancient castle, behind whose mould- 
ering walls are hidden the dread secrets of a long forgotten 
people; but a nearer approach quickly dispels such fancies, for 
the windows prove to be only doorways to shallow and irregu- 
lar apartments, hardly sufficiently commodious for a race of 
pigmies. Neither the outer openings nor the apertures that 
communicate between the caves are large enough to allow a 
person of large stature to pass, and one is led to suspect that 
these nests were not the dwellings proper of these people, but 
occasional resorts for women and children, and that the some- 
what extensive ruins in the valley below were their ordinary 
dwelling-places. On the brink of the promontory above stands 
the ruin of a tower, still twelve feet high and similar in most 
respects to those already described. 

Generally, the cliff dwellings are connected, and we can 
recognize in the ruins, the different apartments used by the 
inhabitants of the village, and can form a picture of the life 
that was led, which was very similar to that followed by the 
Pueblos. But the presence of various structures scattered about 
among the rocks towers in one place, caches in another, 
dwelling apartments in another, shrines in another indicate 


a people in the last stages of disintergration, and who were, 
perhaps just ready to take their flight. 

It is a strange fact, however, that during all these dangers 
there was a constant improvement in the manner of con- 
structing houses and increased provisions for defense. The 
growth of the Cliff-Dwellers' art and architecture continued 
throughout the whole period, and the towns and the estufas 
and the high houses increased notwithstanding the difficulties. 

It will be understood that the Cliff-Dwellers were the most 
ancient occupants of this region and that, notwithstanding the 
continued presence of the wild tribes who were their constant 
foes, kept up the customs of their fathers and made a record 
of themselves and their superior social condition everywhere. 

If one were to read the record as given by the ruins, it 
would be about as follows: First, the occupation of the caves 
which are now without form and almost obliterated; second, 
the erection of ancient agricultural settlements in the valleys, 
the most of which are now in ruins and moss covered and very 
ancient; third, the erection of pueblos of the honey-comb pat- 
tern on the mesas, with towers adjoining; fourth, the selection 
of sites tor cliff dwellings in remote recesses and deep canons, 
and the erection of elaborate structures and massive towers 
and finished estufas and other architectural devices; fifth, the 
abandonment of the villages in the canons and the erection of 
the few scattered houses high up in the sides of the cliffs; 
sixth, the abandonment of the high houses and the removal of 
the people to distant places, and followed by the cons'ant 
occupation of the wild tribes. It is, of course, impossible to 
fix upon the dates of these different periods; yet the evidence 
is that many centuries must have elapsed since the first occupa- 
tion of the region by the* mysterious people, and that their 
stay was a prolonged one, with such intervals between the 
attacks and incursions of the hostile tribes that permanent 
houses were erected, and the people were fairly prosperous 
during the most of the time. 




The descriptions which have been given of the ruined houses 
in the valley of the Chaco and of the San Juan, convinces us that 
at one time there abounded a large population which had been 
gathered into villages, and that this population was thoroughly 
organized into a village system which was widely distributed; 
each village being the home of a clan, which had its own chief, 
its own medicine men, or priesthood, and its own ancestry; the 
traditions of the past and the common descent, keeping them 
together throughout all the changes which occurred. 

It is not always the case that villages can be identified as the 
residence of either family, clan or tribe, yet, as a general princi- 
ple, we may say that the clan was everywhere the unit, and that 
the family was so subordinate to the clan that it is not always to 
be recognized. This constitutes the chief difference between the 
prehistoric villages and the historic, for in the historic, the family 
is the unit, and the village is made up of a number of families, 
who have gathered and made their residence in one locality 
under the protection of the government, without regard to kin- 
ship, nearly every family holding property in severally. In pre- 
historic times, villages were made up of those who belonged to 
the same clan or tribe, and were, in that sense, akin to one another. 
The land was held in cornmon by either the clan or tribe, the 
only property that was separate, being that which might be called 
personal belongings. There was a change in many countries 
about the time of the opening of history, at which time the tribal 
life gave way to the civil condition and property began to be 
held in severally, or was in the control of the ruling classes. 

The prevalence of village life among certain tribes, even to 
the present day, is very noticeable. There are tribes in India, 
especially among the mounlains where Ihe Dravidic race still 
continues, in which the clan life has survived and the people live 
in clan villages, each village ruled by a chief alone. The same 
is true of the Iribes of Africa. Here the villages resemble the 
conical huts or wigwams, common in America, and so striking is 
the resemblance, thai we might imagine the village of the Zulus 
to be occupied by North American Indians. 

One thing is noliceable, in connection with the early history 
of this country, and that is that village life was very prevalent 
here, for the early explorers are constanly describing Ihe villages. 
Garcillaso de la Vega, speaks of the villages through which 


Ferdinan de Soto passed, some of which were surrounded by 
large fields of corn, but most of them were defended by stock- 

The voyage of Jacques Cartier was made up the St. Lawrence, 
but the terminating point was at the village of Hochelega, where 
Montreal now stands. This village was for a time lost to sight 
and perished from memory. Owing to certain excavations, it 
was brought to light and identified, and its history rewritten by 
Sir William Dawson from the monuments and remains, as well 
as from the records which have been perserved.* 

Captain John Smith has described the Powhattan villages on 
the James river. The explorers, Joliet, Marquette, Hennepin, 
and La Salle, described Indian villages near Green Bay, Wis- 
consin ; on the Des Moines in Iowa, and on the Illinois river, 
though none of these were surrounded by any stockade or 
defense. The Seven Cities of Cibola, which were visited by 
Coronado in 1540, have been identified as the pueblos of the 
Zunis, which were nothing but villages of a peculiar kind. 

I. The point which most interests us, is that the village system 
in America was so similiar to that which existed in other 
countries, especially among the uncivilized tribes. The testi- 
mony of all travellers is to the effect that it exists, even in the 
interior of Russia. Here, old customs perpetuate the village 
community and land tillage which prevailed in prehistoric times. 
The land of a Russiin village belongs to the people as a whole, 
and not to individuals. The government is administered by vil- 
lage magistrates, with the aid of a council of elders. They are 
elected by the people, but represent the patriarchal system so 
common in ancient times. 

Patriarchy was also common in America, though matriarchy 
was the system which characterized most of the tribes. Among 
the Cliff-Dwellers and Pueblos, the two systems were in existence 
and were strangely blended together, the descent being in the 
line of the mother, and the care of the household and even the 
ownership of individual property being held by the women ; but 
defense, government, general employment and support of the 
family being left to the men. 

In the regions where there was a struggle for existence and 
necessity for defense against enemies, or a combination of the 
people for securing subsistence, the clan life was especially 
strong, and the village became very prominent. The habitat of 
the Pueblos and of the Cliff-Dwellers was of this character. 
Here, the very aridity of the soil, caused by the height of the 
land and the constant scarcity of rain, rendered the village lile 
almost a necessity. It was a region by itself, isolated, high up, 

See " Fossil Men," by Sir William Dawson. 


but it is a continent which has a limitless sea of air surrounding 
it, and is a great distance from any large body of water. It is 
called the arid region because the climate is very dry and the 
soil very barren, the rarity of the air producing more evapora- 
tion than the streams can counteract. In these respects the 
plateau differs greatly from the Mississippi Valley, or in fact 
from any other part of the continent. 

It is worthy of notice, however, that each grand division of 
the globe has an air continent similar to this. But in none of 
them has there been a development of human life such as ap- 
peared here. It is said that Thibet was the original home of the 
human race, yet very few prehistoric works have been discovered 
in Thibet. Central Africa contains peculiar peoples, but the 
works which are found in that region are comparatively modern. 
The great plain of Iran is supposed to have been the original home 
of the civilized races from this isolated center the Aryan or 
Indo-European race migrated. Some have supposed that this 
plateau of the great west was the original home of the civilized 
races of America, though of this there is much uncertainty. 
The architecture of the region is certainly unique. There is 
nothing*like i.t on the face of the earth. The structures which 
are found here are not only numerous, but there seems to have 
been a great similarity between them, and so we ascribe a unity 
to the people who built them. 

It certainly seems singular that a region like this should have 
been so thickly populated and be now filled with so interesting a 
class of ruins, though once so desolate. All authorities say that 
the ruins are situated in places where there must have been ex- 
tensive springs and perhaps perennial streams of water; but the 
springs are now entirely dry, and the valleys present no streams 
except as mountain floods occasionally pass through the deep 
canons. The most interesting part of this region, archieolog- 
ically considered, is that which lies to the west of the great 
mountain divide, a region in which the streams all flow toward 
the Pacific Ocean. These streams have become well known from 
the presence of many ruins upon their banks, as well as from 
the strange scenery which is represented. 

There is a great contrast between the eastern and western part 
of the mountains. On the eastern slope arc found tliose many 
peaks which have become celebrated for their grandeur of scenery 
Pike's Peak, Mountain of the Holy Cross, Elk Mountains, 
Cathedral Rocks, etc. On the western side we come to the 
wonderful regions of the so-called parks, basins, mesas, table 
lands, deep canons, and great lake beds a region which was 
both volcanic and sedementary in its geological system, its drain- 
age having passed through several changes before it reached the 
present condition. The deep canons are supposed to be the beds 
of streams which are as old as the hills, the first drainage having 


antedated the carboniferous period, but a second drainage pass- 
ing on to the tertiary period. Here is found the valley of the 
Colorado River, a river which flows from the very summit of 
the Rocky Mountains, but which traverses three great States in 
its course toward the southwest, and finally flows into the Gulf 
of California. Here also is the Great Salt Lake, a lake which re- 
ceives the drainage of three other States, but which has no out- 
let and is dependent upon evaporation for its present level. Here 
also is the series of great lakes Pyramid Lake, Lake Tahoe 
which have their outlet in the Humboldt River, and which form 
an interesting feature in the scenery of Nevada. The same 
region is drained to the north and west by the Snake River, a 
branch of the Columbia, and by the Yellowstone, one branch of 
which rises in the famous Yellowstone Park. The region of the 
Pueblos and Cliff-dwellers is altogether south of Yellowstone 
Park, but it extends from the mountains of Colorado on over 
New Mexico, Arizona, part of Utah, and ends on the borders of 
Mexico and California. This is a remarkable fact. The Col- 
orado River has a branch which enters it near its mouth the 
Gila. On this river there are ruins which resemble the famous 
pueblos of the Am'mas and the San Juan in New 'Mexico. 
Not very far from this same river a race of Cliff-dwellers has 
recently been discovered which resembles the famous Cliff-dwell- 
ers of the same rivers. Throughout Arizona there are ancient 
canals and ancient ruins which remind us of the irrigating con- 
trivances and ancient villages found on the Pecos and in other 
parts of New Mexico. Taken together, we should say that the 
discoveries, early and late, had fixed the habitat of this myste- 
rious people in a very singular and mysterious region. 

Whether this fact will lead us to connect the history of the 
people with the ancient race which left their relics in the aurif- 
erous gravels of Table Mountain, or with the more modern and 
more civilized Mexican race, remains to be seen. Still the 
proximity of the habitat to both localities may prove that here 
is a connecting link. The very ancient people of California were 
certainly more advanced than the modern savage Arapahoes, 
Navajoes, etc., which roam over the same region. Yet is un- 
known what the descent of the ancient people was. 

As to the extent of the population the united testimony proves 
that it was very great. Maj. Powell, who has long been familiar 
with it and has often traversed the region, expresses his surprise 
at seeing nothing for whole days but cliffs everywhere riddled 
with human habitations, which resembled the cells of a honey- 
comb more than anything else. Mr. W. H. Holmes, in speaking 
ot the Hovenweep (deserted valley), says : " There is not a living 
stream throughout this whole region. During the summer 
months the water occurs in but few places ; the rainy season is 
in winter, the water being then found in the many basins scat- 


tered over the mesas. There is scarcely a square mile in the 
six thousand examined that does not furnish evidence of being 
the previous habitation of a race totally distinct from the no- 
madic savages who hold it now, and in many ways superior to 
them. It seems strange that a country so dry and apparently 
barren could have supported even a moderate population. It is 
consequently argued that the climate has become less moist since 
the ancient population." He says, however, that "there are grass 
covered meadows and broad belts of alluvial bottom along the 
water courses, affording a considerable area of rich tillable land. 
The rainfall varies in different parts. In Colorado it is said to 
be less than a foot and a half. It has been conjectured that the 
destruction of the forests by the Cliff-dwellers themselves may 
account for the diminution of the rainfall and for the aridity of 
the region." The scenery here is grand, but nevertheless very 
desolate. Its resources are deeply hidden, the distances are 
great and the region difficult to traverse. Here, separate from 
all others, and lonely in the isolation, there grew up a peculiar 
population which reached a high grade of civilization. It is 
the home of the semi-civilized race, while the Mississippi Valley 
was the home of the uncivilized. 

The great plateau presents an interesting class of prehistoric 
structures, as interesting as any found on the face of the globe. 
The age of these structures is unknown The probability is 
that they were not all of the same age. That some cf them are 
modern no one will deny, but that some of them were ancient 
we think is shown by the facts. One argument for their great 
antiquity is drawn from the change which has come over the 
climate. Otherwise there is a mystery about the sustenance of 
so numerous a population. Mr. Holmes says one may travel for 
miles in the parched bed ot a stream and not find a drop of 
water anywhere. In the greater part of the region there is so 
little moisture that the vegetation is very sparse, yet there is 
bountiful evidence that at one time it supported a numerous pop- 
ulation. Labyrinthine canons ramify the plateaux in every 
direction with an interminable series of deep and desolate gorges 
and wide barren valleys. 

II. We turn to the description of the different classes of 
structures which were found in the great plateau. Here we draw 
from an article which has recently been published in The Forum 
from the pen of Maj. J. W. Powell: "The greatest table land 
ot the arid region is the Colorado plateau, lying to the south of 
the most stupendous gorge known on the face of the globe, the 
Grand canon. The summit of this plateau is crowned with many 
extinct volcanoes, and black and angry looking cinder cones are 
scattered in groups or stand in lines throughout the region. The 
general surface is from seven thousand to eight thousand feet 
above the level of the sea, and is covered with pine forests, but 


nestling in the sombre woods sunny valleys are found, and above 
the valleys rise the black cones of lava." 

1. Here we find one class of ruins. Sometimes the amphithea- 
tre of a dead volcano is the site of an ancient pueblo. In the 
ragged cliffs ugly irregular caves are found, and these have been 
walled with fragments of cinder, so that above the cliffs are clus- 
tered curious chambers made by fires long extinct. In these 
ruins no strange arts are found, nor do they bear evidence of 
great antiquity. We know that a tribe now living in Cataract 
canon claims to have formerly occupied one of the crater vil- 
lages. There i.-; a cone, but an hour's ride from the foot of San 
Francisco mountain, which is composed of fine volcanic dust, 
scoria and large blocks of ejected matter. On this the ruins of 
a curious little pueblo were discovered. On the top there is a 
small plaza walled with cinder; about this plaza chambers have 
been built. Shafts were sunk from eight to ten feet in depth, 
two and a half feet to three and a half feet to cross section. The 
chambers are below the surface. The ground is undermined, 
and an irregular room from eight to ten feet in diameter, and five 
or six feet in heighth is found. Around this central room two 
or three smaller rooms are dug out of the ashy rock. About 
one hundred such under ground dwellings have been discovered, 
in various conditions of ruin. They have all been carefully ex- 
amined, and the stone knives, hammers, mortars, tools of bone 
and horn, fragments of baskets, pieces of coarse cloth, all prove 
that these people had arts quite like those of the Puebloes and 
Cliff dwellers. Their pottery was the same; they raised corn, 
ensnared rabbits, hunted antelopes, deer and elks in the forests 
and plains, and all show that they had the wel-lknown culture of 
the general region. 

2. West of Santa Fe, in New Mexico, and beyond the Rio 
Grande there is an irregular group of mountains and high plateaux 
known as the Tewan Mountains. Here in some ancient times a 
succession of volcanoes burst out. Sometimes they poured forth 
molten lava, but oftener threw high into the air enormous quan- 
tities of cinder and ashes. These fell and buried the sheets of 
lava, and were themselves covered with molten rock. The 
rivers that head on these mountains and run down into the Rio 
Grande, have cut- down through the alternating layers of 1 ava and 
tufa many deep and winding picturesque canons, and here we 
have another class of dwellings. The tufa is sufficiently hard to 
stand in vertical cliffs, and yet so soft that it can be worked with 
great ease by the use of stone tools. There are many miles of 
these tufa cliffs, and into them thousands of chambers have been 
hollowed. Such a chamber is entered by a narrow door-way 
three or four feet high. Within a chamber is found ten or twelve 
ieet square, four to six feet in height, and more less irregular in 
form. About this two or more smaller chambers are found, t ~ 


whole forming a suite of apartments. A few feet further along 
on the face of the cliffs another such suite may be found, some- 
times two or more suites connected by interior passages. The 
chambers are often irregularly situated, one above another, and 
the face of a cliff presents many such openings. Here and there 
are rude stairways hewn in the soft rock, by which the dwellings 
are reached with more or less difficulty. These are the "cavate" 
dwellings of the Tewan mountains. Though at first supposed to 
be very ancient, research proves that many of them are quite 
modern, having been occupied since the Spanish settlement by 
a people owing sheep, goats, asses and horses. The more an- 
cient give evidence of having been occupied by people having 
arts identical with other pueblo tribes. 

3. On the long narrow plateaux that stand between the deep 
canons running down into the Rio Grande there are many pueb- 
loes in ruins, which were made of blocks of the same tufa, which 
is easily worked with stone tools. The blocks vary from ten 
to twelve inches in length, are usually eight inches in breadth, 
and from four to six inches in thickness. They were laid in clay 
mortar. Each communal dwelling or pueblo was a cluster of 
small irregular rooms covered with poles, brush and earth. Va- 
rious Tewan tribes claim these as their original homes. 

4. In the southwest portions of the United States, conditions 
of aridity prevailed. T^he forests are few and found only on 
great altitudes, on mountains and plateaux where deep snow ap- 
pears, and frosts often blasts the vegetation in summer. Such 
forest-clad lands were not attractive homes, and the tribes lived 
in the plains and valleys below, while the highlands were the 
hunting grounds. The arid lands below were often naked of 
vegetation, but in the ledges and cliffs that stand athwart the 
lands and in the canon walls that enclose the streams were 
everywhere quarries of loose rock, lying in blocks ready for the 
builder's hand. Hence, these people learned to build their 
dwellings of stone. They had large communal houses, even 
larger than the structures of wood made by the Mound-builders. 
Many of these stone puebloes are still occupied. 

5. There are ruins scattered over a region embracing a little 
of California and Nevada, and far southward. These ruins are 
thousands and tens of thousands in number. Many of these 
were built thousands of years ago, but they were built by the 
ancestors of existing tribes, or their congeners, A careful study 
of these ruins for the last twenty years demonstrates that the 
pueblo culture began with rude structure of stone and brush, 
until at the time of the exploration of the country by the Span- 
iards, in 1540, it had reached its highest phase. The Zuni has 
been built since and it is the largest and best village ever estab- 
lished within the territory of the United States without the aid 
of ideas derived from civilized men. Not all the valleys of the 


arid region are supplied with the loose stone, and so a few tribes 
of the region learned to construct their homes of other material. 
They built them of grout adobe in this manner: For the con- 
struction of a wall they drove stakes into the ground in two par- 
allel lines, two or three feet apart. They then wove willows, or 
twigs, or boughs through the stakes of each line, so as to make 
a wicker work box, and between the sides of this box, or be- 
tween the walls, they place a stiff mixture of clay and gravel. In 
this way they built many houses, sometimes great assembly 
houses, similar in purpose to those used by the Mound-builders. 
The Casa Grande of Arizona is one of these. The people were 
agriculturists. They cultivated the soil by the aid of irrigation, 
and constructed some interesting hydraulic works. The most 
important of these are found in the valley of the Gila. These 
remarks by Major Powell are very interesting. They are con- 
firmed by other explorers. We here give cuts which are taken 
from articles furnished by Mr. F. H, Gushing and others. 

III. We now turn to a description of the cliff-dwellings, some- 
times called cave-dwellings and sometimes cliff-dwellings. 

i. Let us consider the caves as such. It is noticeable 
that while there are habitations resembling the cave- dwellings 
scattered all over the continent, yet the cliff-dwellings them- 
selves are confined to one particular or, at most, to two definite 
localities, the majority of them being found in the valley of one 
particular stream or river, namely, the Colorado and its tribu- 
taries the Rio Doloroso, the San Juan, the Rio Mancos, and 
the LaPlata. This is a region which is celebrated for its deep 
canons and its precipitous cliffs and its desolate scenery. It is 
just such a region as we could expect to find abounding with 
caves the model home of the Cave-dwellers. There are cave- 
dwellings in America as there are in Europe, but these generally 
belong to the later part of the paleolithic age, cr to the earlier 
part of the neolithic age. There is, however, a great difference 
between them and the cliff-dwellings about which we are speak- 
ing. In fact, all the difference that would exist between the 
earlier part of the stone age and the later part. There is a whole 
age between the two. In Europe we have the caves which con- 
tain the bones of extinct animals the mastodon, the cave bear 
and the rhinocerous. After them came the reindeer period. 
This was followed by the kitchen middens; after the kitchen 
middens came the barrows, after the barrows came the Lake- 
dwellers, and after the Lake-dwellers came the rude stone monu- 

Originally the cave-dwellings belonged to a period which 
antedated the kitchen middens, and so would be classed with 
the paleolithic age; but there are so many caves in this country 
which were manifestly neolithic that we must place them in 
that age, but assign them to different periods in that age. 


There are cave-dwellings in many parts of America, some 
being found as far north as Alaska, where they are associated 
with shell heaps; others in the Mississippi valley, where thev 
are closely connected with the mounds; others in the midst of 
the canons of Colorado and Arizona, where they are associated 
with structures resembling the pueblos; others in the central 
regions on the coasts of Lake Managua, in Nicaragua, and still 
others in the valley of the Amazon in South America. These 
last have, however, been classed with the paleolithic age, as it 
is claimed that animal bones and other remains of the quater- 
nary period are found in them. The caves are also scattered 
over various parts of Europe, some of them being classed with 
the paleolithic and some with the neolithic age. In a general 
way we should say that caves were the abodes of man during 
the latter part of the paleolithic and the early part of the neo- 
lithic age, though it is evident that some of them were occupied 
through the whole prehistoric period and even far down into 
the historic period. 

Caves are not to be classed with monuments, yet as they have 
been associated with various kinds of monuments and have 
produced all kinds of relics, we have to give to them a broad 
space in the horizon, classing some of them with the old stone 
age, others with the new stone age, and even placing some in 
the bronze and the iron age. It is worthy of notice that the 
division of the paleolithic age is based altogether on the con- 
tents of the caves and that the names are derived from the 
caves, the Chelleen, the Mousterien, the Solutrien, and the 
Madalenien caves all having yielded relics which have been 
divided in this way and which have given rise to the subdi- 
visions of the paleolithic age. As to the place which we are 
to assign the cave-dwellers of America in the order of succes- 
sion, ihis for the present is uncertain, as each author is influenced 
bv his own discoveries, and no general system has been adopted. 
We give here the names of a few of the archaeologists who 
have treated of the cave-dwellers: First, we would mention 
Mr. William H. Dall.* He has described the caves of Alaska; 
he says that there were here three periods, first, that of the 
so-called littoral people, a people which is to be classed with 
the paleolithic age; second, that of the cave-dwellers, a people 
who were in the neolithic state, and, third, that of the hut- 
makers, a people who might have left monuments. Next to 
him is Prof. F. W. Putnam, who has described the caves in 
Tennessee. These contained the tokens of a neolithic charac- 
ter, though it is uncertain whether they preceded the mounds 
or were contemporaneous with them. 

*Win. H. Dall, "Hemains of Later Prehistoric Man from theCaves of theCatherina 
Archipelasjo. Alaska Territory," Smith, con.. 1878. Prof. M. C. Head on Hock .Shelter 
In Ob to. Amer. Antiquarian, March, 18W. llald man, Hock- UHmit near Cnlckle*. 

iviin. Whittlescy on Hock Shelter at Klyria, Ohio. Putnam on Salt Cave ami 
short's cave in Tennessi e. 


Dr. Earl Flint is another author who has written upon 
the caves. He claims that there are caves in Nicaragua which 
were very ancient, how ancient he hardly undertakes to tell. 
Dr. Flint's discoveries have not been confirmed. It does not 
seem likely that inscriptions of the kind described by him 
could have been wrought by a people preceding the neolithic 
age, and therefore we should be inclined to place this cave in 
that age. This leaves then only one single locality for the 
paleolithic cave-dweller, namely, that spoken of by Prof. Lund 
as found in Brazil, a locality which M. Nadaillac has described at 
some length. 

We give cuts which will illustrate the point. In one figure 
we have a cave of the paleolithic age. It was discovered by Dr. 
Goldfusse in Lsio. It proved that man occupied caves when 
bears, hyenas and other extinct animals were common in Europe. 
The next cut shows a cave of the neolithic type. It is the 
cave in Alaska described by Mr. William H. Dall. 

2. Next to these are the cliff-dwellings of Arizona and Col- 
orado. The most of these are known to be so much more 
advanced than ordinary caves as to be classed wilh the monu- 
ments of a higher grade. Mr. W. H. Holmes speaks of caves 
in Colorado which, he thinks, were very ancient, so ancient, in 
fact, that the rock which formed their openings has worn en- 
tirely away, leaving them now as mere shelters or nooks in the 
cliff. The clifl-dwellers, of course, are to be placed with the 
neolithic age, and at an advanced part of that age, probably the 
same part which was occupied by the Pueblos of the same 

These have been described by Mr. Holmes. The watch towers 
above show that they were occupied by a people of an advanced 
class. See Plate III. He thinks that some ot these caves were 
very ancient, as the mouths or openings have worn away since 
they were occupied, leaving the former habitations without 
walls to protect them. 

This is an important point, and yet the presence of 'the estufas 
or towers above the cliffs give the impression that they were not 
so very ancient. It is possible that the people dwelt in these 
enclosures on the summit, using the tower both for an outlook 
and an estufa, but that in times of danger they fled from their 
houses and went down the cliffs into the caves, enduring expos- 
ure for the time for the sake of protection. This is an interest- 
ing locality. It is situated on the San Juan River. The cliffs 
here are only thirty-five to forty feet in height. The ruins are 
three in number, one rectangular and two circular. Each one of 
them is placed over a different group of cave-dwellings, ose to 
the edge of the mesa. About one hundred and fifty yard s to the 
southwest of this ruin are the remains of another similar struc- 
ture. It is built, however, on a much grander scale; the walls 



are twenty-six inches thick, and indicate a diameter of about one 
hundred and forty feet. The first impression was that it was 
designed for a corral, and used for the protection of herds of 
domestic animals. This would prove that it was a modern work 

and not an ancient one. Mr. Holmes 
says that they both belong to the com- 
munity of Cave-dwellers and served as 
their fortresses, council chambers and 
places of worship. These would seem 
to be reasonable and natural inferences. 
Being on the border of a low mesa 
country that rises toward the north, 
strong outside walls were found nec- 
essary to prevent incursions from that 
quarter, while the little community, by 
means of ladders, would pass from 
dwelling to temple and fortress with- 
out danger of molestation. See Plate 
IV. Mr. Holmes describes another 
cave-dwelling situated on the Rio 
Mancos cancn. An outstanding promontory was honeycombed 
by th>'s earth-burrowing race. Window-pierced crags were visi- 
ble, which contained towers upon the very summits. Other 
openings were walled, leaving windows or doors into the side of 
the precipice, the apertures being scarcely large enough to allow 
a person of large stature to pass. He 
says that one is led to suspect that 
these nests were not the dwellings 
proper of these people, but occasional 
resorts for women and children. The 
somewhat extensive ruins in the valley 
below were their ordinary dwelling 
places. He speaks of the round tow- 
ers, and says they are very numerous 
in the valley of the Mancos. He vis- 
ited and measured seven in fifteen 
miles along the course of this stream. 
In dimensions, they range from ten to 
sixteen feet in diameter and two feet 
in thickness. They are, in almost 
every case, connected with other 
structures, mostly rectangular in form. 
In this respect they resemble the 
square and circle which are found 
in the Mound-builders' works in the Fig.i,, 

Ohio valley. The Rio Mancos canon is 30 miles in length, and 
ranges from 1,000 to 2,000 feet in depth. It seems to have been 
a favorite resort of the cliff-building people, and traces of their 



industry may be found everywhere along the bottoms, on the 
cliffs and on the high dry table lands above. He refers to wall- 
ing up the cave front, and gives several illustrations. A sketch 
of one on the Rio Mancos is given in the cut, Fig. 3. The 
group occurred in the cliff, about thirty feet from the base. The 

three doorways opened into 
as many small apartments, 
but these were connected 
with each other by very 
small passage-ways. He 
speaks also of a cozy little 
dwelling which was hidden 
away in a weather-worn 
cavity in a massive crag. 
See Fig. 5. This was sit- 
uated not far from a great 
tower which he discovered 
on an isolated spot in the 
midst of the valley and near 
the trail. A rude little fire 
place was observed in con- 
nection with the cliff house 
on the opposite side of the 
canon. See Fig. 6. It is 
the only example discov- 
ered. There seem to be no 
traces whatever of fire- 
places, ovens, furnaces, or chimneys about any of the ruins 
except this. The walled-up caves on the Rio Mancos canon may 
be compared to the cave-dwellings and towers on the Rio San 
Juan. In this case the towers are below the cliff in the valley 
instead of on the summit. We give two other specimens of 
these cliff-houses. These were also found on the Rio Mancos. 
They have been described by Mr. W. 
H. Jackson. See Figs. 4 and 7. 

The round towers are worthy of no- 
tice. Some of these are isolated, but 
some of them are connected with rect- 
angular buildings. We give two cuts 
to illustrate these. Fig. 9 gives a plan 
of the double tower near the mouth of the Mancos; Fig. 10 
occurs about eight miles above the foot of the canon ; it is nine 
feet in diameter on the inside and about sixteen feet high. There 
are three rectangular apartments attached. This cut illustrates 
one method of defense and shows the uses which were made of 
some of the towers. There were no windows or openings within 
reach of the ground, but being built in connection with dwellings 
thep could be reached from within these, and be secure from 

fit/. .',. Cliff Jfouxen. 



without. A large circular tower is described by Mr. Holmes. 
It was situated in the canon of the Mancos on a narrow strip of 
alluvial bottom. The diameter of the outer wall is forty-three 
feet, that of the inner twenty-five feet. The outside courses have 
been dressed to the curve, and the imple- 
ments used must have been of stone. The 
space between the walls was divided into 
cells. The main walls are twenty-one 
inches in thickness, but the partition walls 
are somewhat lighter. The walls were twelve 
feet high when discovered. The circle 
seems to have been divided into ten cells. 
There were no indications of windows or 

doors in the out- 
er walls. En- 
trance was made 
by means of lad- 
de r s through 
high windows or 
by way of the 
roof. There were 
openings be- 
tween the cen- 
tral enclosure 
and the cells, but 

these were high up. The one that remains entire is six feet from 
the ground, and measures two feet in width by three in height. 
The lintel is a single slab of sandstone, That this ruin is quite 
ancient is attested by the advanced stage of decay. There were 
no buildings in connection with the ruin, but on the point of a 


faff/it 3 ft. 


Fig. 9. 

Fig. 10 . 

low rock or promontory that extends down from the mesa to 
within a few rods of the circular rnih, are some masses of decay- 
ing wall and a large circular depression. This tower was prob- 
ably the estufa for the houses which were situated in the sides 
of the cliff to be described. 

The position of this ruin is one of almost unparalleled secur- 



ity. The almost vertical cliff descends abruptly from the front 
wall, and the immense arched roof of solid stone projects forward 

fifteen or twenty feet beyond 
the house. Running water 
was found within a few yards 
of the groups of houses just 
described. There were evi- 
dences ol fire, the walls and 
ceilings of one of the rooms 
(I being blackened with smoke. 
The small rooms were used 
for storage, and a qnantity of 
beans was taken from one and 
grains of corn from another. 

Another group of cliff- 
dwellings was situated about 
a mile farther up the canon. 
It was exceedingly difficult of 

ffiff.ll.Tivo-Slory Cliff llv 

access, being situated in the cliffs about seven hundred feet 
above the river. Fig. 14. It is a two-story buildin. The one 

Fig. 12. Ground Plan. 

remarkable feature of the house is the consummate skill with 

which the foundations arc laid and cemented to the sloping and 

overhanging faces of the ledge. Mr. -^^=\ ,* 

Holmes says that although the building 

seems complete, and had windows and 

doors conveniently and carefully ar- 

ranged, the plastering of the interior is 

almost untouched, and there is scarcely 

any trace of the presence of man. The 

plaster may have been applied only 

shortly before the final desertion. Mr. _ 

Jackson says: Among all dwellers in ~ 

mud-plastered houses it is the practice to 

freshen up their habitations by repeated 

applications of clay, moistened to the proper consistency, and 

spread with the hands. Every such application makes a building 


appear perfectly new, and many of the best sheltered cave houses 
have this appearance, as though they were but just vacated. The 
plaster does not differ greatly from common mortar. It is 
lightly spread over the walls, probably with the hands, and in 
color imitates very closely the hues of the surrounding cliffs, a 
pleasing variety of red and yellow grays. Whether this was in- 
tended to add to the beauty of the dwelling or to its security by 
increasing its resemblance to the surrounding cliffs, L shall not 
attempt to determine." 

The extraordinary situation of these houses is shown in 
the cuts on pages 82 and 93, but the arrangement of the rooms, 
the appearance of the plaster, the shape and construction of the 
doors and the position of the semicircular tank outside of the 
house, are shown in the cuts on the page opposite, Fig 12; 
A, B and c representing the ground floor, and D the cistern. 

Another group of rock shelters is described by Mr. Jackson: 

They were situated on a ledge about two hundred feet long and six feet 
deep, but resemble cubby holes. At first they seemed as if they might be 
caches, but the evidences of fire showed that they had been quite constantly 
occupied. There was a row of these rock shelters, doors through the 
dividing walls affording a passage, the whole the ledge. Another 
group of three small houses, each about five feet wide and ten feet long, 
with doors through the end walls, was seen situated about sixty feet above 
the trail. Still another group was found on the Rio San Juan, consisting of 
an open plaza, with three .rows of apartments surrounding it. These are 
propably parts of disintergated villages, the towers and estufas being in 
the valley below. 

Mr. Jackson has also described what he calls the Echo 
Cave. His description is as follows : 

It is situated twelve miles below the Montezuma. The bluff here is 
about two hundred teet in height; the depth of the cave was one hundred 
feet. The houses occupy the eastern half of the cave. The first building was 
a small structure, sixteen feet long, three to four feet wide. Next came an 
open space eleven feet long and nine feet deep, probably a work-shop. 
Four holes were drilled into the smooth rock, six feet apart, probably 
designed to hold the posts for a loom, showing that the people were familiar 
with the art of weaving. There were also grooves worn into the rock where 
the people had polished their stone implements. The main building comes 
next, fortv-ei^ht feet long, twelve feet high, ten feet wide, divided into three 
rooms, with lower and upper story, each story being five feet high. There 
were holes for the beams in the walls, and window like apertures between 
the rooms, affording communication to each room of the second story. 
There was also one window in each lower room, about twelve inches square, 
looking out toward the open country; and in the upper rooms several small 
apertures, of not more than three inches wide, were pierced through the 
walls, hardly more than peep holes [loop holes]. The walls of a large 
building continued in an unbroken line 130 feet further, with an averaee 
height of eight feet. The space was divided into eleven apartments, with 
communicating apertures between them. The first room wasp> feet wide, 
the others dwindled gradually to only four feet. The rooms were of 
uneq lal length, the following being the inside measurements: 12^ feet, 
V 1 4 feet. 8 feet, 7^ feet, o feet, 10 feet, 8 feet, 7 feet, 7 feet, 8 feet, 31 feet. 
The ledge runs then 50 feet further, gradually narrowing, while another 
wall occurs crossing it, after which it soon merges into the smooth wall of 
the cave. The first of the rooms had an aperture large enough to crawl 
through, leading outward; all the others, of which there were about two to 


each room, were mere peep holes* [loop holes] about three inches in 
diameter and generally pierced through the wall at a downward angle. 

In the central room of the main building, we found a circular basin-like 
depression, thirty inches across and ten inches deep, that had served as a 
hre place, being still filled with the ashes and cinders of aboriginal tires. 
The surrounding walls were blackened with smoke and soot. I his room 
was undoubtedly the kitchen of the house; some of the small rooms 
seem to have been used for the same purpose,! the fires having been made 
in the corners against the wall, the smoke escaping overhead. 

The masonry displayed in the construction of the walls is very credi- 
table. A symmetrical curve is preserved throughout the whole line, and 
every portion perfectly plumb; the subdivisions are at right angles to the 
front, the stones are roughly broken to a uniform size. More attention 


seems to have been paid to securing a smooth appearance upon the exterior 
than the interior surfaces, the clay cement being spread to a perfectly 
plain surface, something like a modern stucco finish. On the inrtfr walls of 
some of the subdivisions, the impression of the hands, and even the delicate 
lines of the thumbs and fingers of the builders, were plainly retained; in 
one or two cases, a perfect mould of the whole inner surface of the hand 
was imprinted; they were considerably smaller than our hands, and were 
probably those of women or children. In the mortar between the stones, 
several corn cobs were lound imbedded, and in other places, the whole ear 
of corn had been impressed in the clay. The ears were quite small and 

* These peep holes or loop holes in the walls show that Echo Cave was used as a fortress, as 
well as a village residence, the so-called loop-hole forts and the living rooms being here com- 

fThe fire-places in these rooms show that the people weie accustomed to keep the fires 
burning through the cold winter months, the same as did the inhabitants of Cliff Palace and 
other places. 


none more than five inches long. The whole appearance of the place and 
its surroundings indicates that the family, or liitle community, who inhabited 
it were in good circumstances and the lords of the surrounding country. 
Looking out from one of their houses, with a great dome of solid rock over- 
head, that echoed and re echoed every word uttered with marvellous dis- 
tinctness, and below them a steep descent of 100 feet to the broad, fertile 
valley of the Rio San Juan, covered with waving fields of maize and scat- 
tered groves of majestic cottonwoods, these old people, whom even the 
imagination can hardly clothe with reality, must have felt a sense of security 
ihat even the incursions of their barbarian foes could hardly have disturbed. 
Five miles above the Canyon Bonito, Chelly expands into a wide 
valley that extends with only slight interruptions, to the foot of the Canyon 
de Chelly, at the northern end of the Tumcha Mountains. It is bordered 
by lo* but abrupt sandstone bluffs, which have been broken into isolated 
monuments in some places, that stand like huge sentinels upon either hand, 
as if to warn the traveller from the desolation surrounding him. Although 
the bluffs contain numerous great circular caves, favorite building places 
of the ancient builders, we find only two or three ruins of that kind, and 
these only in the lower end of the valley, the last we noticed being about 
eight miles above the Canyon Bonito. This was the largest and most im- 
portant one in this vicinity, occupying a large cave very similar to the one 
of the San Juan, divided into twelve or fifteen rooms, with a large corral or 
court, and an elevated bench on one side, with a low wall running around 
its front edge. This had been occupied by the Navajoes for corraling their 

The most interesting villages are those situated in the 
Canon de Chelly. Mr. Jackson speaks of one particular village 
and has given a plate illustrating the situation of the village 
and of the houses belonging to it.* He says: 

This cave-town occurs in a great bend of the encircling line of bluffs, 
and is perched upon the recess bench, about seventy feet above the valley. 
It is overhung by a solid wall of massive sandstone extending up over 200 
feet higher. The left side of the bench supporting the building sweeps 
backs in a sharp curve, about eighty feet under the bluff, and then gradu- 
ally comes to the front again. The total length of the town is 545 feet, the 
width is in no place greater than forty feet. There are somewhere in the 
neighborhood of seventy-five rooms upon the ground plan. Midway in the 
town is a circular room, which was probably intended for an estufa. Start- 
ing from this estufa is a narrow passage, running back of the line of houses 
on the left to the two-story group, where it ends abruptly; further access 
being had through the lower rooms, or over the roofs. At the extieme left 
hand, a still higher ledge occurs, where there was a space reserved as an 
out-of-door working room. All the buildings are of one story, with the ex- 
ception of the group A, the residence, probably, of the chief. The rooms 
back of it were the store-rooms, where the corn and squashes were put 
away. Near the store-rooms are two half-round enclosures of stone-work, 
remains of reservoirs or springs. The front line of the wall of this end of 
the town is built upon the slope of the rocks, with the interior of the apart- 
ments filled up with earth, so as to make their floors level, bringing them a 
little below the pass?ge-way. The whole front of this portion of the town 
is without an aperture, save some small windows, and is perfectly inacces- 
sible. Admittance was gained, near the circular building in the centre, by 

Going to the right from the estufa, you have to climb up about eight 
feet to a narrow ledge. Here the buildings are built irregularly over the 
uneven surface, each house conforming to the irregularities, but presented 
the general arrangement of clusters about central courts. They may have 

See Hayden't Report United States Survey (1876), page 422 


served as corrals.* Some of the rooms were quite large, from fifteen to 
twenty-five feet in length. The very small rooms surrounding them were 
probably for storage, and in some cases answer the purpose of fire-places 
for baking pottery. All the doorways and windows open from within the 
courts, and were unusually large. The walls are from six inches to a foot 
in thickness. The stones of which the walls are built are long, thin slabs 
laid in an abundance of adobe mortar. Most ot the rooms, insi de and out- 
side, have been smoothly plastered with clay. At the foot of the bluff, on 
a low bench about ten feet above the level of the valley, are the indications 
of old buildings and burial places. Chipped flint works, arrow-points, per- 
forators, knives, and domestic utensils were found, also seven large earthen 
pots of indented ware, and a handsome little jug or vase. 

On the McElmo and on the Montezuma Cafion, north and 
west of the Bonito, a large number of small cliff-villages have 
been discovered. Several of these have been discovered by 
Mr. Lewis W. Gunckel and Mr. Warren K. Moorehead. 
They are situated in canons called Cold Spring, Eagles Nest, 
Monarch Cavern, Cottonwood Gulch, Giants' Cave, Hawks' 

Nest Cave, and 
Butlers Wash. In 
each of these, there 
is a wall running 
near the edge of the 
cliff, with an enclos- 
ure back of it, con- 
taining a spring of 
water, an open area 
and an es,tufa at the 
end of the ledge, 
showing that it was 
a cliff-village. 

Other cliff-dwell- 
ings on the Rio de 
Chellyf have been 
described elsewhere in this volume. The most notable village 
is the one represented in the plate \ and called Casa Blanca, or 
White House. This is the ruin seen by Lieutenant Simpson 
in 1849. The following in the description: 

In its present condition it consists of two distinct parts, the lower part 
comprising a large cluster of rooms on the bottom land against the vertical 
clitt, and the upper part, which is much smaller, occupying a cave directly 
over it, and being separated from it by a distance of only thirty-five feet of 
vertical cliff. There is evidence, however, that some of the houses in the 
lower pueblo were lour stories high and that the strnctures were practically 
continuous. The lower ruin covers an area of about 150 by 50 feet With- 
in this area there are remains of forty-five rooms on the ground and a cir- 
cular kiva On the east side the walls are still standing to the height of 
twelve or fourteen feet. It is probable that the lower ruin comprised about 

t *H S T e ,t, f th *K e l r l a]s disclosed a solid 'y Packed bed of old manure, very nearly resolved 
hit d " st > through which were scattered twigs of willow and fragments of pottery ThU shows 
Iheajanm^nts' g "" CCUP Y '^ Nava J oes > and that ^eir flocks of sheep were keptTn 


fSee pages 204, 240, 323 and 324. 

t See page 228, and compare with cliff-house on page 203 

6 " *" * C " Ied *""*' 

, in.l of White House. 


sixty rooms, which, with the ruins in the cave, would make a total of eighty. 
The principal room in the upper ruin is situated nearly in the centre ot the 
cave. The walls are two feet thick, constructed of stone, twelve teet high 
in front, seven feet high at the sides. The exterior was finished with a coat 
of white-wash, with a decorative band of yellow. Two rooms on the east 
and two on the west are wholly of adobe. Near the centre of the main 
room there is a well-finished doorway, T shaped. The back rooms must 
have been reached by a ladder in front. The cliff entrance was a narrow 
opening left in the front wall. 

There is another region where cliff-dwellings arc numerous, 
viz.: in the Walnut Canon, eight miles from Flagstaff. The 
following is the description given by Mr. Higgins, of the Santa 
Fe Railroad: 

On the southeast, Walnut Canyon breaks the plateau for a distance of 
several miles, its walls deeply eroded in horizontal lines. In these recesses, 
floored and roofed bv the more enduring strata, the cliff dwellings are found 
in great numbers walled up on the front and sides with rock Iragments and 
partioned into compartments. 

Fixed like swallows' nests upon the face of a precipice ; approachable 
from above or below only by deliberate and cautious climbing, these dwell- 
ings have the appearance of fortified retreats, rather than habitual abodes. 
That there was a time, in the remote past, when warlike peoples of mysteri- 
ous origin passed southward over this plateau is generally credited. And 
the existence of the cliff-dwellings is ascribed to the exigences of that dark 
period, when the inhabitants of the plateau, unable to cope with the superior 
energy, intelligence, and numbers of the descending hordes, devised these 
unassailable retreats. All their quaintness and antiquity can not conceal 
the deep pathos of their being, for tragedy* is written all over these poor 
hovels, hung between earth and sky. Their builders hold no smallest niche 
in recorded history. Their aspirations, their struggles, and their fate are 
all unwritten, save on these crumbling stones, which are their sole monu- 
ment and meager epitaph. Here once they dwelt. They left no other print 
or line. 

At an equal distance to the north of Flagstaff, among the cinder-buried 
cones, is one whose summit commands a wide, sweeping view of the plain. 
Upon its apex, in the innumerable spout-holes that were the outlet of 
ancient eruptions, are the cave-dwellings, around many of which rude stone 
walls still stand. The story of these inhabitants is like -vise wholly conjee 
tural. They may have been contemporary with the cliff-dwellings. That 
they were long inhabited is clearly apparent. Fragments of shattered 
pottery lie on every hand. 

Another region where cliff-dwellings are numerous is situated 
far to the south of the Pueblo territory, in an extensive moun- 
tainous country which can be called a continuation of the 
Rocky Mountains in northern Mexico. It used to be the favor- 
ite haunt of the Apache Indians, and is now seldom visited by 
the Mexicans, who are entirely paralyzed by the memories of 
terror and blood-shed and for fear of the roaming bands which 
are constantly invading the region and keeping alive the fear- 
ful traditions of the past. 

These now solitary regions, Mr. Lumholtz says, '' were once 

Thi- same is true of the cliff-dwellings on the San Juan In one on Acowit* Canyon were 
several skeletons which showed that the Cliff-Dwellers had met with a violent death. In a room 
which had only one entrance, and that from the top, probably an estufa, four persons had been 
killed with stone axes. Their skulls had been broken in. They had attempted to escape by the 
opening or chimney. One man's legs were in the chimney and his trunk in the fire-place; his 
hands and arms were in the room. 


inhabited by races of whom history as yet knows nothing. 
Many mountain ruins are everywhere found, consisting of 
square buildings, generally of stone, but occasionally of clay 
and plaster, which caused them to look white at a distance. 
Deserted pueblos, consisting of square stone houses, are gen- 
erally found on top of the hills and mountains, surrounded by 
fortifications in the shape of stone walls." He says further: 

There are some very remarkable caves in Cave Valley on Piedras 
Verdes River. On one stretch of twenty miles I counted some fifty caves 
or cliff-dwellings. They are all made in natural caves and cliffs. Some of 
these contain small villages, or groups of houses, which are well built, 
showing, that the inhabitants attained a comparatively high culture. The 
rock formation is porphyry, which has disintegrated into a dust which in 
some cases covers the floor of the cave up to the knee. 

The cave extends from too to 200 feet above the bottom of the canyon, 
68<;o feet above the sea level. The openings vary from twenty to fifty feet 
in height, and the depth in one cave reached 140 feet. In the deepest caves 
the houses were built at the entrance, while in the smaller ones they were 
found at the back. The most noticeable feature of these structures is that 
the walls are about a foot and a half thick, and present a solid surface as 
much as eight feet in height, all of one piece, and white-washed. 

In one cave we found thirteen coats of white-wash on the walls, from 
which we inferred that the dwelling had been inhabited for a long period of 
time. This was the finest and most interesting of all the caves we visited, 
it contained a whole village, and at its entrance we were amazed to come 
upon a gigantic balloon-shaped vessel, twelve feet in height, and twelve feet 
in diameter, with a three-feet wide opening at the top. The Mexicans 
called it an "olla," and insisted that it was a water jar; but I believe that it 
was built for the storage of grain, and openings symmethically made in the 
sides of the vessel, as well as a hole three feet high at its base, favor this 
hypothesis. The framework of this " olla " was composed of coils of grasF- 
ropes, plastered inside and out to the thickness of about eight inches, with 
the same porphyry pulp of which the d veiling themselves are oonstructed. 
The interior of the vessel was as fresh as though it had been made a week 

Some ten miles higher up, in the Strawberry Valley, we met with some 
more very interesting cave- or cliff dwellings. These structures were 
similar to those mentioned above; one, however, presented the anomaly of 
being circular in shape. Some were fortified and turned into almost im- 
pregnable strongholds, and one was protected by an outside gallery. 






We have in the preceding chapter treated of the habitat of the 
Cliff-dwellers, and have given a general description o<" their loca- 
tion and distribution. We now give an account of the Cliff- 
dwellers of a particular district. This account is all the more 
valuable from the fact that if is furnished by one who has visited 
the region and studied its geographical and geological features, 
and made special note of the architectural and archaeological 
peculiarities. We commend the article for its specific descrip- 
tions and for the illustrations, which were taken on the spot. 

The Mesa Verde, in whose canon cliffs and caves an ancient 
race have left their architectural remains, is a plateau in south- 
western Colorado and New Mexico. Its boundaries are roughly 
defined on the east by a ridge or so-called "hog's-back," which 
slopes toward Cherry Creek and the Rio La Plata, on the south 
by the erosion valley of the Rio San Juan, on the west by the 
erosion district beyond Aztec Spring Creek, and on the north 
by the Montezuma valley, or plain; properly, the McElmo val- 
ley. It rises from 1,000 to 2,000 feet above its base, which has 
an altitude above the sea of from 7,000 to 8,000 feet. The 
canon of the Rio Mancos completely divides this plateau into 
two unequal portions, as it extends first southward, then south- 
westward, and finally in a more westerly direction, leaving to the 
southwest an irregular quadrangle, whose area is probably about 
300 square miles. It is to this portion that special attention is 
called, as it was here that the writer's observations on cliff-dwell- 
ings were chiefly made. Its drainage is toward the Mancos, and 
erosion has produced such an extensive system of canons 
through it, that it is now the mere skeleton of a mesa and a 
perfect labyrinth of gorges. Each of these lateral canons of the 
Mancos- has its branches and their subdivisions, which extend in 
many cases almost to the great northern wall of the mesa that 
faces the Montezuma plain; so that the whole interior consists 
of a series of tongues of flat-topped mesa, green with scrub-oak, 
pinon and cedar, running out from a rim or base upon its north- 
ern border, forming partition walls of varying width between 

' *Thls chapter is a reprint from the Bulletin of the American Geographical Society 
of 1892, and was written by W. K. Blrdsall, M. D., who visited the region in the year 
1891, and took photographs of the ruins. 


canons of enormous depth, whose yellow sides rise perpendicu- 
larly from the steep -sloped talus at the base. Huge promon- 
tories of rock jut boldly out where canons subdivide, some 
carved into strange fantastic forms, others squarely built as if 
abutments for giant bridges to span the chasms which they limit. 
The views seen in journeying through these canons, while ever 
varying in minor details, soon become monotonous from the 
continued repetition of the greater features. We pass promontory 
after promontory, canon after canon, which so much resemble 
each other that the mind, failing to keep the preceding variations 
before it, becomes bewildered and fatigued. Again, the mesa, 
to the uninitiated, is a perfect maze; so great are the resem- 
blances between the different branches of the canons and between 
the promontories that separate them. From some point of view 
whence a great area of the mesa can be overlooked, it appears as 
if the earth had been split into innumerable fissures, as the eye 
courses over the indistinct outlines of canon beyond canon in the 

These canons are all the work of erosion in horizontally strat- 
ified rocks of cretaceous formation, chiefly sandstone. The 
upper strata form an escarpment of yellowish sandstone, harder 
than the lower strata and about 200 feet in thickness. Directly 
below it are much softer sandstones and shales which have 
eroded more rapidly in some places than in others, giving rise 
to shallow caverns or galleries formed by the overhanging clifi 
of harder rock as a roof; while lower strata, that have also been 
resistant, form the floor, which is usually much narrower than 
the roof, varying from a few feet up to fifty or sixty, while the 
overhanging cliff may project from a few feet to more than a 
hundred beyond the back wall of the gallery. Below, the wall 
of rock drops off abruptly, or by an irregular series of narrow 
ledges, for hundreds of feet down to the talus slope. The height 
of the galleries above the bottom of the valley varies from 500 
to 1,500 feet. They vary in size from mere niches of a few 
cubic feet capacity to galleries more than a thousand feet in 
length and fifty feet in height and width. 

On these narrow ledges, at these dizzy heights, under these 
overhanging walls, the cliff-dwellers fastened their houses of 
stone to the rocks like so many swallows' nests. The question 
is often asked: Why did they build so high ? They built where 
they found caverns in which to build. Although lower strata 
exhibit many of these caverns, they are far less numerous and 
extensive than those under the great escarpment rock. 

The canon bottoms are cut up with the "wash" of former 
streams, benches have been excavated in the talus, and innumer- 
able lateral arroyos intersect the longitudinal stream-beds. Part- 
ially disintegrated masses of rock add roughness to the view. 
Tall, coarse grasses, rushes, sage-brush, tangled vines, willow 


and cotton-wood, make up, chiefly, the vegetation of these 
bottoms ; while upon the higher slopes and ledges, the scrub-oak 
grows in such profusion that some of these canon walls at a 
distance appear richly clad in verdure. Indeed, it is this bright- 
leafed oak, rather than the darker pinon and cedar of the mesa 
proper, that give it the verdant appearance which must have 
suggested the name "Mesa Verde." 

These canons end mostly in amphitheatres which were favorite 
sites for cliff-towns. In some, the mesa level was reached by a 
series of benches and intervening slopes, while others slope 
gradually to the mesa, or produce a valley in it. Some of these 
valleys extend so far to the north that they give to the northern 
face of the mesa a serrated appearance. Few canons have water 
in them except after showers or the melting of snow. The waters 
of the tew permanent streams are alkaline and usually unfit for 
man or beast to drink. A spring is a treasure rarely found in 
the canons, but hollows worn in the rocks become filled by rain 
or melted snow and furnish the chief supply to the travellers 
upon the mesa. Some of these rock excavations are quite large 
and receive the name of "tanks." 

It was the writer's good fortune to visit the region thus briefly 
described under the guidance of Richard, Alfred and John 
Wetherill during the summer of 1891, for recreation rather than 
for the purpose of systematic archaeological study. For several 
years these men have devoted a great deal of time to the explora- 
tion of this region in search of cliff-houses and the relics they 
contain; although not professed archaeologists, they have amassed 
a very large collection of the remains of the cliff-dwellers and 
are in possession of a vast number ot observations and facts 
concerning them. Indeed, no one knows this part of the Mesa 
Verde as they do. The upper end of the Mancos Canon is the 
usual place which tourists visit to see a lew examples of cliff- 
houses, and the hospitable Wetherill ranch is the proper outfit- 
ting place. 

Jackson and Holmes, whose contributions constitute almost 
the only attempt at scientific literature on the subject of cliff- 
dwellings, described the ruins in the Mancos Canon, but their 
observations did not extend to the interior region described in 
this article. In these branch canons of the Mancos, however, 
the ruins are far more numerous than in the main canon ; a dis- 
covery of the Wetherills, who informed me that they have 
examined between 200 and 300 villages or separate groups of 
houses, in an area of less than twenty by forfy square miles. The 
greater part of these are in the lateral canons. This region, now 
so desolate, was once a well-peopled area. While journeying in 
the saddle through the Mancos Canon or its wider branches oc- 
casionally mounds are met with, many strewn with pits of pot- 
tery, others exhibiting, upon slight excavation, the remains of 


adobe or stone walls, some quadrangular, some circular. The 
base of a distant cliff may reveal a small water-worn recess, 
showing the remains of a wall of stone which closed it in front 
the so-called " cave houses". Looking along the high canon 
walls in search of cliff-houses, the inexperienced observer is apt 
to look in vain. He sees every variety of shade and color in 
the great yellow and brown rocks, projecting masses of every 
form, shadows of overhanging cliffs and the dark recesses below 
them ; but until he has become familiar with the somewhat paler 
yellow of the artificial walls and their rectangularly notched 
appearance he is apt to pass them by even after a careful search. 
On spying one of these structures a thousand feet or more above, 
the problem asserts itself: How did the occupants get up to 
them? It is finally resolved by the answer: They did not, they 
came down to them from above. The level mesa top was within 
one or two hundred feet of them ; the canon bottom perhaps 
more than a thousand feet below, hundreds of which might be 
perpendicular or unsurmountable. When built at lower levels, 
or at the end of a canon where the slopes permitted, paths and 
steps leading below are occasionally found, but in most instances 
the path and steps lead from the house up to the mesa, not 
down to the bottom. The explorer must adopt the same method 
if he would work to advantage. He must reach the mesa some- 
how, and establish himself there as his base for operations. It 
is only at a few favored points that it is possible to reach the 
top from the canon below ; such places may have been known 
to the ancient cliff-dwellers, they certainly are known to the 
Navajoes and Utes, whose trails here and there serve to indicate 
a way to the top. Some broken down promontory usually affords 
the conditions. Zigzagging across the talus slope, the ledges 
are finally reached, and the horseman is glad to leave the saddle 
and lead or drive his pony over the rough and nearly upright 
path, around bold promontories with but a narrow ledge for a 
footing and across great fissures, forcing him to jump from ledge 
to ledge. The top reached, the saddle resumed, then comes a 
ride across the level or rolling mesa at better speed. Dodging 
under and around the branches of low pinon and cedar trees which 
form a sparse forest, clattering every now and then over mounds 
strewn with pottery the mesa burial grounds in time a place 
for camping is reached, It must be where water can be had. 
A natural excavation in the rock, to which led a gullied slope 
that directed water when it rained, held a few barrels of muddy 
liquid and served us' at one of our camps. Leading down to it 
were well-worn steps cut in the solid rock. 

In hunting for cliff-houses from the mesa, some projecting 
point will furnish an outlook up or down the canon and may 
expose to view some group of houses. To find the way down 
to them is a matter, often, of careful searching. Usually at some 


point of depression where the ledges are broken, a narrow way 
will be found. Yet there are instances where a broad and royal 
path sweeps down around the half circle of an amphitheater to 
the ledges on which the town was built. Though steps and 
niches cut in the solid rock are frequent, examples of a regu- 
larly laid stairway are rare ; we observed one, however, consist- 
ing of fifty or sixty steps, each formed of a heavy 4 block of 
stone, so well placed that they have resisted the ravages of time 
better than the walls of the large cliff-town to which they led, 
now almost completely demolished. Sometimes the houses are 
absolutely inaccessible; portions of the cliff have fallen, ledges 
have crumbled away, cutting off all access to what may have 
once been an easily reached dwelling. Ropes and poles are 
useful accessories to the explorer if he has the courage and the 
skill to use them. Fragments of notched poles and other ladder 
like arrangements have occasionally been found, which probably 
made many places accessible that are now out of reach. Some- 
times it is necessary to let one's self down for a considerable 
distance through great fissures. In the side walls, niches are 
often found to facilitate the descent and ascent. Again, the only 
way is over the sloping or rounded face of some smooth rock ; 
here also niches for the hands and feet are not unfrequently seen. 
.They are not deep, perhaps the rock has worn and left them 
shallower than when first cut, yet they give a foothold, though 
it be a perilous one. The path may be continued by narrow 
ledges a few inches in width where the side wall must be closely 
hugged to maintain equilibrium. Then, possibly a succession of 
giant steps to lower ledges intervene, and, finally, as we round a 
point, a great cliff curves upward and under its deep shadow, on 
the ledges below, rise the ruins of a cliff-town. 

No description of a single cliff-house can give a correct idea 
of them as a class, so greatly do they vary in size, form and 
location. As in every community we have many grades of 
architecture, from the hovel to the palace, so here we find a great 
range in the different features of construction; from the little 
" cubby-hole" walled up in a corner of the rocks to the remains 
of what appears to have been a stately tower or an extensive 
communal house. Yet they all have certain features in common. 
They are built of blocks of sandstone, broken or cut in regular 
shapes, laid in a cement of adobe and chinked with small frag- 
ments of stone. The rock material used was that of the adjoin- 
ing cliffs, large masses of which fallen from above were usually 
at hand and sufficiently soft and fragile to have been easily 
worked with the stone implements found in the houses. The 
blocks of stone vary greatly in size, though many walls are 
faced up with stones about a foot long, eight wide inches and six 
thick; others are double or triple this size; some are cubical in 
shape, while in many of the inferior structures the pieces of 


stone are irregular, of many sizes and shapes, with adobe plas- 
tered into the interstices to fill out the deficiences. In the more 
perfect and substantial buildings, "however, the walls exhibit 
great regularity of torm and compactness of construction with 
as true a face as is shown by many of our modern stone build- 
ings. The lines are usually plumb, the corners are turned at 
perfect right angles in squarely built houses, while in round 
structures the circles are quite perfect. A remarkable degree of 
skill is shown by the manner in which the shapes of the build- 
ings were adapted to the limitations of space which the galleries 
presented and in the utilization of every available surface. Many 
of the walls of large buildings rise directly from the extreme 
edge of the ledge, sometimes even when the slope to the front 
was considerable, yet, so thoroughly were they laid, that many 
of them stand to-day, on these apparently unstable foundations 
in a good state of preservation. Where curves in the gallery 
existed, the walls were also curved or angled to utilize all the 

In some of the more spacious caverns a continuous corridor 
was left in the extreme rear, allowing communication between 
the separate apartments. On narrow ledges the partitions were 
carried directly back to the cliff walls and up to the roof of the 
cavern, provided the latter was not too high. Four stories up-* 
ward from a single ledge was the highest that came under the 
writer's observation. As the stories are low, from three to six 
feet, it is not usual to find walls running higher than twenty or 
twenty- five feet; ordinarily they are not so high. When a lower 
ledge existed in front of the main gallery ledge, it was often 
built upon and the walls carried up to the level of the latter and 
sometimes above. As these outer structures have not stood as 
well as the inner ones, it is not possible to say from their ruins 
how high they were built. When supplementary ledges existed 
high above the main floor, these narrow projections were often 
utilized, small compartments being built upon them, too dimin- 
utive tor human occupation and possibly were used for storage. 
Fig. i exhibits such structures built on narrow sloping surfaces 

The openings in the walls consist of peep-holes a few inches 
square, windows and doors. The windows are not numerous, 
many rooms being entirely without them, while sometimes they 
are absent from the front walls of an entire village. They vary 
in size and shape, 18x24 inches being a large size, 12x14 inches 
a more common proportion. The sill consists of a single flat 
stone, the lintel of stone or of one or two small cedar poles to 
give support to the wall of stone above. The doors have similar 
lintels, but the door sill is frequently absent. The size of the 
door is also quite variable; they are almost always small, many 
requiring one to enter en hands and knees, and being barely 



wide enough to admit an adult person. Not an uncommon size 
is 2x3 feet. Yet doors five or six feet in height and of ample 
width are met with in some houses. Some rooms have neither 
doors nor windows in the side walls, being entered through a 
hole in the roof or floor of the next story. These roofs and 
floors are formed of cedar or pinon poles two to four inches in 
diameter, some of which were allowed to project a foot or two 
beyond the outer wall They show that they were cut off with 
some blunt instrument, probably the stone axe. These larger 
poles were covered with smaller cross sticks, which were in turn 

Fig. 1. 

covered with adobe cement ; sometimes cornstalks and strips of 
bark were pressed into the adobe while it was yet soft, as these 
articles are still found imbedded in it. Over this vegetable mat- 
ter a series of layers of brown and black dirt is often found; 
whether originally placed there or the accumulated filth from 
long occupation is uncertain. 

The floors between stories have usually fallen in. leaving the 
broken poles or the holes in the wall through which they pro- 
truded. The main walls of the buildings are from one to two 
feet in thickness, the partition walls somewhat thinner. The 
size and shape of the rooms vary greatly. They are usually 
small, 8xio feet being a large room, 6x6 feet a more common 
size, while great numbers of little compartments about 3x4 feet 
are met with; sometimes they are nooks and corners left in 
completing the larger outlines of the building. The diminutive 



height of the rooms is also noticeable, four feet being a not un- 
usual height. In the shape of the inner rooms less care is shown 
in their proportions than in the outer walls ; the partitions being 
frequently out ot 'parallel. The inner surfaces of the walls, in 
some cases, were simply chinked and the interstices plastered 
like the outer wall; many of the rooms, however, are smoothly 
plastered within, and impressions of the fingers and the palmar 
surface of the hand are occasionally visible. Finger marks are 
often found in the cement on the outer walls, and their small size 
has led some to infer that this was woman's work. The plastered 

walls have in some instances been smeared over with tinted clay 
of either a brownish or a pinkish hue. Mural decorations are 
exceedingly rare. A band in black around the upper part of the 
room has been observed, and occasionally rude attempts at 
sketching the human figure. Pegs of wood and staples of bent 
willow or reed let into the wall are frequently found; and proba- 
bly served as projections on which to hang things. A special 
description is required of the circular rooms called "estufas," 
from their resemblance to the circular chambers of this name 
found in the Pueblo towns. One or more of these structures 
are to be found in almost every collection of houses. They 
vary a good deal in size and manner of construction, but are 
always circular, with somewhat heavier walls than those of the 



adjoining buildings. They have few apertures. A diameter of 
eight or ten feet is not unusual; much larger ones have been 
described, but still smaller ones are met with. 

Fig. 2 exhibits the ruins of one of these structures, showing a 
projecting ledge or seat interrupted by a solid mass of masonry. 
Frequently rectangular recesses exist at intervals in the wall 
large enough to contain a person sitting with bent knees; smaller 
recesses are also found. Fig. 3 shows one of them, and also 
exhibits a smoother portion of the wall covered with plaster, as 
well as surfaces from which it has scaled. These estufas were 

Fig. S. 

usually more perfectly plastered and tinted than the other class 
of rooms. 

In the center of the floor a shallow circular basin of baked 
clay from one to two feet in diameter, forming a solid part of the 
floor, represents a fire-place; at least fragments and dust of char- 
coal are found in these basins. Some of the estufas have an 
aperture about a foot square, opening on the outer wall, and 
screened within by a little wall of masonry built up from the 
floor about a foot or two from the wall ; whether this was to 
prevent persons outside from looking in, or for the purpose of 
distributing the draught, on account of the central fire-place, is 
uncertain. The interior walls of estufas are usually much 
blacker from smoke than are the other rooms. The entrance 
to these apartments is sometimes difficult to discover; narrow 
subterranean galleries have been described by some writers, but 



roof openings and apertures high up in the walls were more 
common. A form of wall construction should be mentioned in 
which the wall is continued upward upon a few tiers ot stone by 
wicker work, heavily plastered inside and outside with adobe. 
Concerning the number and grouping of the rooms in different 
villages as indicated by the ground plan, it may be said that they 
range from small collections of half a dozen compartments to 
those with more than a hundred. Richard Wetherill discovered 

Fia. 4. 

an unusually large group of buildings which he named "The 
Cliff Palace," in which the ground plan showed more than one 
hundred compartments, covering an area'over four hundred feet 
in length and eighty feet in depth in the wider portion. Usually 
the buildings are continuous where the configuration of the cliffs 
permitted such construction. Many towns present the appear- 
ance of having been added to from time to time, as the wants of 
the community increased. This is suggested by the different 
degrees of perfection in the masonry of adjoining buildings and 
by the better or poorer construction of upper stories. Isolate/} 
buildings are occasionally met with. Some of these, situated on 
spurs or promontories which overlook the valleys, have been re- 
garded as towers ot defence or points of lookout. The valley 


ruins also exhibit the remains of large isolated round structures, 
sometimes with a double circular wall, and in the broad valleys 
are ruins with larger groups of apartments than those in the 
cliffs, showing a greater resemblance to the Pueblo towns. They 
probably represent different periods of architecture and were 
possibly the work of different tribes. 

Within the cliff-houses, under the debris of fallen walls and 
in the refuse heaps about them, various articles have been found 
which throw further light upon the habits of the cliff-dweller. 
They may be enumerated and classified in the following manner. 
Those marked with an asterisk did not come under the writer's 
observation or verification. For their description and identifica- 
tion Mr. John Wetherill is the informant, and his careful obser- 
vations may be regarded as trustworthy. 

1. Implements for war and the chase. Bows of wood;* 
sinew bow strings;* arrows of wood and of reed; flint and bone 
arrow-points; flint and bone spear-points; flint and bone knives 
of various sizes; buckskin quiver with arrows;* snow shoes.* 
Bows and arrows were found by the Wetherills in a sealed room 
beside the skeleton of a man dressed in a suit of fringed and 
tanned skins. 

2. Tools for building. Stone axes, polished and unpolished, 
of various sizes, shapes and materials, chiefly of igneous rock. 
Fig. 4 exhibits one with polished edge, 6x3 inches; stone ham- 
mers, large and small. Both axes and hammers are frequently 
found with a short handle of wood bound to the stone by strips 
of yucca. 

3. Implements for the manufacture of domestic articles. 
Sticks about three feet long, knobbed at one end and worked 
into a blade at the other, supposed to have been used in beating 
and preparing the yucca fibre, as they have been found in rooms 
with bundles of yucca in different stages of preparation.* Awls 
of turkey bone; bone needles;* flat- and rounded stones for 
shaping pottery, clay for pottery;* flat hide scrapers; sharp 
sticks and paddle-shaped pieces of wood thought to be agricul- 
tural implements; sticks supposed to be part of a loom.* 

4. Household utensils. Knives and spoons of bone ; stones 
for grinding corn (metate stones); hoppers of woven yucca; 
stone pestles; sharp-pointed sticks for starting a fire;* tinder of 
bark and of grass ; baskets and fragments of basket work made 
of grass, yucca, rushes, reeds and willow. Baskets shaped for 
the back have been found with a harness of yucca rope and 
hide.* Matting of rushes (see Fig. 5) and matting made of 
willow osiers, perforated at short intervals by small awl holes, 
through which yucca strings pass, holding them together and 
parallel. Rings of yucca and of rushes to support unstable 
pottery; the yucca plant in different stages of preparation for 
fibre ; yucca rope, both twisted and braided forms, cordage, 



twine and thread; flat boards, supposed to be " baby boards." 
Ore was found with a bed of corn tops on it.* Small bundles 
of stiff grasses tied in the middle and cut off squarely at both 
ends ; said to be used to-day by the Mocjuis as hair-brushes or 

5. Dress and ornamentation. Fragments of tanned hides 
bound with cordage of yucca fibre; fringed buckskin garments; 
leggings and cloth made of human hair; cotton cloth; cotton 

Fig. 5. 

cord; yucca fibre cloth; finely woven bands of yucca fibre; socks 
made of yucca fibre; sandals of yucca with various styles of 
finish. Fig. 5 shows one exhibiting the heel and toe bands. 
Some sandals have an in-sole of corn-husks or of soft bark 
fibre. Feather cloth: this peculiar textile was made by splitting 
off the downy part of feathers and wrapping the thin layer of 
quill around a yucca string; a feather cord as large as one's fin- 
ger is thus formed, and this interlaced and tied together answered 
for a mantle, such garments having been found as a wrapping 
for the dead. Bone beads; snail shells perforated for stringing; 
jet and stone ornaments have been found. 

6. Pottery Large jars holding from one to several gallons, the 
so-called corrugated ware (indented ware, coiled ware). Fig. 5 


exhibits in the largest fragment a specimen of this peculiar pot- 
tery ; small jars are made of the same material, aud their shapes 
vary. Much speculation has been indulged in as to how they 
were made, some maintaining that they consist of strips of clay 
coiled spirally and indented with the finger nail ; others think 
that this effect is due entirely to nail indentation. As proof that 
the nail was used for indenting this ware, the writer has a frag- 
ment on which the delicate lines of the skin have been perfectly 
impressed below the nail marks. The inner surface is smooth. 
These jars are usually blackened from smoke, as if used for 
cooking utensils. They are of a coarser material than the 
smooth pottery, but comparatively thin, considering the size of 
the jar. Of smooth pottery a great variety has been found; jars 
large and small, jars with rims for lids, jar lids, jars with side 
handles, jugs, large and small, pitchers, bowls, mugs, ladles (see 
handle of ladle, Fig. 4); peculiar little pieces of pottery in which 
cotton wicking has been found, supposed to be lamps.* Some 
of the pottery is unglazed and undecorated. The surface of the 
decorated pottery has a slight glaze upon it, which is in some 
specimens slightly absorbent. Figs. 4 and 5 show a variety of 
patterns on fragments. As they are evidently hand designs, the 
variations are very great. 

Tons of fragments of this ancient pottery are scattered over 
the mesa and in the valleys, as well as in and around the cliff- 
houses. Either the makers were indefatigable potters, or else 
the race dwelt long in the land. In truth, we do not know 
whether they represent different periods, or whether the makers 
were of different races. That many of the designs are at least 
as old as the buildings is proved by the fragments, occasionally 
found imbedded in the abode qs chinking material. Less com- 
mon are fragments of a red pottery without decorations, except 
peculiar streaks of black through it on the inner surface, and on 
the outer, indistinct patches of a dull greenish tint. Sometimes 
a mottled effect is evident. Holes have been drilled through the 
pottery in some instances, apparently after baking, and broken 
pottery was mended by tying a string through holes drilled in 
the fragments. 

7. Food supply. Maize or Indian corn; the stalks, husks, tas- 
sels, silk, cob and kernel are frequently found. That some of 
this material is as old as the building is proved by the fact that 
the stalks were used in the construction of the floors, being ac- 
tually imbedded in the addbe; cobs being also used to chink the 
walls with, an impression of the cob in the now hard adobe being 
found on detaching one from its bed. Corn husks on the cob, 
knotted or braided and bunched much as the Eastern farmer 
treats his seed-corn, are not uncommon. As already mentioned, 
the husks were used as in-soling for sandals and for the padding 
of other articles. The corn itself was small, a yellow variety, 


some kernels showing a small dent. The cob was also small 
and short, usually about three inches in length. Jars of shelled 
corn have been found, but when the kernels are obtained from 
refuse heaps or open vessels the softer part has generally been 
gnawed away by some rodent, leaving only the hard outer rim, 
Efforts to sprout the complete kernels, it is said, have thus far' 
proved unsuccessful. Reddish-brown beans of fair size are fre- 
quently found. The stems, rind and seed of gourd-like vege- 
tables of different kinds are abundant; some thin like a gourd, 
others squash-like, and another kind resembling the pumpkin. A 
kind of walnut has also been found. The American turkey was 
evidently an important factor in the domestic economy of the 
cliff-dweller. His feathers and quills were used for ornament 
and dress, his bones were worked up into useful household 
utensils, such as awls and needles, and we can hardly doubt but 
that his flesh formed an important article of animal diet, if we 
may judge from the broken bones in the refuse heaps. That 
this people did not merely hunt the wild turkey, but succeeded 
in domesticating it seems probable from the abundance of drop- 
pings, particularly in certain small compartments, with which 
are mixed the down and feathers of this fowl. The droppings 
of smaller birds and different rodents are numerous under the 
cliffs, the accumulation of ages, but the arrangement, appearances 
and situation serve to distinguish them in many cases from the 
deposits just referred to. Deer bones, buckskins, sinews and 
horn show that one or more varieties of the cervidae supplied 
these people with material for food, dress and utensils. The 
question will naturally arise in the mind of every reader of this 
list of articles found: How do we know that they belonged to 
the original builders and occupants of the cliff-dwellings and 
not to modern tribes, as so many of the articles resemble those 
known to be in use by Indian tribes? The truth is that in many 
cases we can not feel sure, yet examples of most of the articles 
described have been found in situations or under conditions 
which show most conclusively that they are not recent, but as 
old as some parts of some of the buildings; as in the instance 
cited of articles found imbedded in the mortar or under the 
ancient floors. Again, the uniformity of the findings over widely 
distant regions, wherever this class of buildings has been care- 
fully examined, is strong confirmatory evidence; yet too much 
care can not be taken in reaching conclusions in this sort of 

8. Human remains. The burial mounds on the mesa contain 
the decayed remains of human skeletons in abundance, and many 
in a fair state of preservation, yet nothing but the bodes remain 
except pieces of pottery buried with the body, these usually in 
fragments. When the attitude can be determined it is usually 
the flexed position, the body having been laid on the side. Skel- 


etons are also found buried among the ledges, where occasion- 
ally under the protection of some large mass of rock sufficient 
earth has been retained in which a shallow grave could be ex- 
cavated. The best preserved human remains are found in the 
dry material under the cliffs. An occasional place of burial 
was on or under the floor of some room in the building. Some- 
times the body was simply laid away in the dry dust, the room 
being sealed; in other cases the earthen floor covering the body 
shows the accumulation and effect of use after burial. Where 
absolute protection from moisture has occurred, mummified re- 
mains have been found with the wrappings of the dead, in a 
more or less complete state of preservation. Although com- 
paratively few have been found, the uniformity of method in 
dress and attitude shows what was their favorite method of burial. 
The outer wrapping consists of the willow matting already de- 
scribed. It was a kind of burial case. Beneath this is usually 
a covering of rush matting, and next to the skin a wrapping of 
fibre cloth or a mantle of the feather cloth already described. 
The flexed position on the side is the usual one. The hair ot 
the head has been found partly preserved on some mummies. 
It -is said to be of fine texture, not coarse like Indian hair, and 
varying in color from shades of yellowish-brown to reddish- 
brown and black. The writer was not able to verify this by 
personal observation, as no mummies were exhumed during the 
trip, but the facts are vouched for by many observers. The 
Wetherills exhumed one mummy having a short brownish 
beard. It is possible that a bleaching process may account for 
the change in color, though this is doubtful ; it certainly will 
not account for the soft, fine texture of the hair. If this obser- 
vation is corroborated in future findings, as they have been up to 
the present, an important ethnological fact will be established. 
A theory prevails in Colorado, which the writer was unable to 
trace to its originator, that three distinct races inhabited the land, 
the mesa-dwellers with perfect skulls, the cliff-dwellers with 
skulls having a perpendicular occipital flattening and the valley- 
dwellers with skulls having an oblique occipital flattening. The 
theory is based on the fact that different shaped skulls have been 
found at these different situations. The number of skulls ex- 
amined under the writer's observation were not sufficient to 
establish much ; yet he saw skulls removed from the mesa 
mounds which, contrary to the theory, were both horizontal and 
oblique flattening. The cliff-house skulls were perpendicularly 
flattened, and all these flattened skulls were symmetrical. The 
angle and plane of flattening vary in different skulls, so that it 
may be readily conceived that in a large number of skulls we 
might find intermediate grades from the perpendicular to the 
oblique forms. While the theory advanced may be correct, the 
objection to accepting it is, that it rests on the examination of 


too few crania. While there is no doubt of the preponderance 
of perpendicular flattening in the cliff-dwellers' skulls, we are.not 
justified in concluding that they were necessarily a different race 
from the valley peoples who flattened their skulls differently. 
Localities may be found to differ, and the question should be left 
undecided until a larger number of skulls have been examined 
and proper craniometric observations made upon them. The 
specimens of crania seen do uot usually impress one as of ex- 
tremely low grade. They are brachycephalic, but this is in great 
part due to the occipital flattening. The vault is well rounded, 
not sloping laterally like the crania of many Indian tribes. The 
teeth of adults are generally worn flat on the crown. The skel- 
etons, while not exhibiting signs ot unusual muscular develop- 
ment, as indicated by the rough points for the attachment of 
muscles and the curvature of the long bones, were yet well de- 
veloped and of good stature. The mummy of a man found by 
the Wetherills measured 5 feet 10 inches, and that of a woman 
5 feet 6 inches. 

9. Rock marking. Attention has been called to the almost 
total absence of figures, decorative or otherwise, on the walls of 
the buildings. Rude characters, inscriptions and pictures are 
also very rare in the canons of the Mesa Verde. A line cut in 
a spiral was the only object of the sort that came under the 
writer's observation ; a photograph of this was lost by a faulty 
exposure. Their entire absence in so many of these more iso- 
lated villages should make us doubtful about the origin of those 
found on the valley walls, along lines of travel which modern 
tribes have used, 

Grooves in the sandstone, where stone implements have been 
ground and sharpened, may be seen on the ledges about almost 
every dwelling; broad, hollow grooves that would fit the larger 
axes, narrow lines where probably a bone awl was ground, or 
other sharp implement. 

At certain levels, in some canons, bituminous shales and thin 
seams of coal appear. John Wetherill states that he has found 
coal cinders in the ash heaps and fire basins of cliff-towns near 
such outcropping, and regards this as proof that they recognized 
the value ot coal as fuel and utilized it. 




In giving the traditionary history of the pueblos we shall in- 
c'ude only those tribes which had their seats on the Great 
Plateau, and who still occupy those peculiar habitations to which 
the expressive name of " Pueblo" has been given, but must ex- 
clude those tribes who formerly had their homes among the 
cliffs, or the Cliff dwellers, so called. These are supposed to 
have belonged to the same stock as the Pueblos, and to have 
follDwed the same mode of life; but they were driven from the'r 
homes so long ago that they can not be identified, and no record 
of their past can be secured. It is strange that with so many monu- 
ments scattered over the Great Plateau of the interior that the 
materials for history should be so meagre ; but this is in accord 
with the condition of society. The people may have reached a 
high degree of art and architecture, and left structures behind 
them which are very suggestive, but having had no letters or 
fixed method of making a record of events, their history has 
perished. It is only among trie few survivors that we can look 
for those traditions which will explain the stiuctures or furnish 
a clew to the customs of the past. The traditions which we 
shall consider will be those which have been preserved among the 
Tusayans. These are important, for they not only cover the 
history of this people, but they suggest many things in refer- 
ence to the tribes which formerly adjoined them. There is a great 
similarity between their traditions. They embrace about the 
same events. They all begin with the Story of Creation, and 
describe the various migrations, and speak of the changes which 
occurred and the reason for the changes. They contain allusions 
to the attacks of wild tribes and the conflicts which occurred 
among their own tribes. They generally end with the final 
settlement in some chosen locality, and in the combination of 
the different tribes in making villages or groups of villages. 

The wanderings of the Tusayans and Zunis were, to be sure, 
confined to the limited territory of Colorado, Arizona, New 
Mexico and the north of Mexico; and the starting point can not 
be discovered as occurring in any other region. In this respect 
they differ from all other aboriginal tribes of America and espec- 
ially from the so-called civilized people the Aztecs and Toltees. 

The Aztecs speak of having departed from the "seven caves," 
and of spending many years in their long migrations. Caves 
are mentioned as the starting place or station in the migration 


of the Chichimecs and the Toltecs.* Some have thought that 
this proves that the Aztecs and the Toltecs were the same people 
who formerly occupied the pueblos; but the point has not yet 
been confirmed, either by the evidence of architecture or even by 
tradition. This, however, can be said, that the Tusayans were a 
very ancient people on the Great Plateau and they were more 
nearly allied to the Aztecs than they were to any of the wild 
tribes, such as the Navajos and Apaches, who occupied the same 
territory at the beginning of history. 

When they were invaded by the Navajosf these ancient people 
left their homes in the valleys and constructed temporary 
homes in the canon walls, as cliff ruins are abundant through- 
out the region. 

Ultimately the ancient Cliff-dwellers succumbed to the Nava- 
jos and were driven out. A part joined the tribes in the valley 
of the Rio Grande, others joined the Zuni and the people of 
Tusayan. Still others pushed on to the valley of the Gila.| As 
to the relative age of the tribes very little can be said. 
The traditionary history of the Navajos, including their mythol- 
ogy, covers a period of from five hundred to seven hundred 
years. The same period might be ascribed to the Cliff-dwellers, 
but strange to say the history of the Tusayans can not be carried 
back much farther than this. 

Toltec records reach back to an earlier period. They contain 
the Nahua annals from the time of the deluge, or even from the 
creation; but their wanderings terminated in the building of the 
city and pyramid of Cholula. The Aztec records are contained 
in charts or picture records. Their wanderings culminated in 
the building of the great city of Mexico.j| 

As to the early condition of these pueblo tribes very little is 
known, and yet so far as it is known, it contrasts strongly both 
with that of the Aztecs and Toltecs of the south and that of the 
wild tribes, such as the Apaches and Navajos, to the north. 

According to tradition, the Aztecs were, at a very early date, 

*The Choctaws, or Muscogees, according to their traditions, migrated from the Mountain 
of Fire, which was situated to the far west They were led by the leaning pole for many 
months and years, and finally crossed the "great river" and settled in the Gulf states, where 
they began to build mounds. 

fThe Navajos belong to the Athapascan stock of British Ameiica and are allied to the 
Apaches. Their migrations began m the far north and brought them to the mountain 
region, which is situated on the >an Juan. The most interesting ruins of America are found 
in this region, and the ancient pueblos here are of superior structure. They were all built 
by people whom the Navajos displaced when they migrated from the far north. 

|See Canyons of the Colorado, by Major J. W. Powell, p. 53. 

The Navajp mythology begins with the creation aud the wanderings of the Navajo war 
gods. The divine brothers went to the San Juan Valley to dwell. They brought from the 
houses in the cliffs the ears of corn from which the first pair were made. Their home was 
in the house of the dark cliffs Since this pair was created seven times old age was killed. 
The age of an old man was a definite cycle of one hundred and two years. This would give 
a period of from five hundred to seven hundred years since the first gentes of the dark cliff 
houses were created See Journal of American Folk- Lore "A Gentile System of the Navajo 
Indians,'' by Dr. Washington Matthews, Vol. III., No. q, p. 89. 

l]The Toltec migration is placed by most authorities between the sixth and seventh 
centuries, Aztec migration, about the fourteenth century. 

The names applied to the ancient Nahua dwelling places are Aztlan, Culhuacan, (Culi- 
acan?), and Azuilasco. 


somewhat advanced in civilization, or if not this, they very 
rapidly acquired the arts of civilization from their neighbors, the 
Toltecs. The Navajos, on the other hand, according to their 
own traditions and myths, were, at the outset, and continued to 
be, wild hunters and mountaineers, and never settled down to 
permanent seats or to an agricultural life. The earliest condi- 
tion of the Pueblos was that of an agricultural people, who dwelt 
in houses and depended upon irrigation for subsistence. Their 
migrations from one place to another were caused by a lack of 
rain and the attack of enemies. There is another difference also 
between the Pueblos and all other tribes and nations. They 
speak of having dwelt in houses, the ruins of which mark their 
various stopping places. So their migration routes are much 
more likely to be identified than either the Aztecs, who speak of 
caves, or of the wild tribes who speak of the mountains as their 
former dwelling place. 

With this introduction let us turn to the history of the Tusay- 
ans. This is contained in their traditions and their architecture. 
I. We begin with their tribal traditions and their migration 
myths. We are indebted to several gentlemen, who have made 
their homes among the Tusayans, for securing the creation myths, 
and properly interpreting them.f Among these gentlemen we 
would place Mr. A. M. Stephen as first; but along with him we 
would mention Dr. Washington Matthews. Mr. Frank H. Gush- 
ing, and Dr. J. Walter Fewkes. Mr. Stephen says the creation 
myths of the Tusayans differ widely, but none of them designate 
the region now occupied as the place of their creation, or genesis. 
They are socially divided into totemic groups, each one of which 
preserves a creation myth. All of them claim a common origin 
in the interior of the earth ; but the place of emergence is 
in widely separated localities. The following is the story: In 
the beginning all men lived together in the lowest depths in a 
region of darkness and moisture. They suffered great misery, 
but through the intervention of the great divinity Myungwa, 
the god of the interior and of Baholikonga, a crested serpent, 
the genius of water, the ancient men were led up through four 
different houses or caves. The means by which they came up 
was the magic cane, the seed of which the "old men" had re- 
ceived from the divinity. It penetrated through a crevice in the 
roof over-head and mankind climbed to a higher plain. A dim 
light appeared in this stage and vegetation was produced. An- 
other magic growth of cane afforded the means of rising to a 
still higher story or plain, on which the light was brighter, vege- 
tation was reproduced, and animals were created. The final as- 
cent to the surface, which was the fourth plain, was affected by a 
similar magic growth and was led by mythic twins. According to 

* Quoted by Mr. Cosmos Mindeleff in the Fifteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of 


some of the myths it was accomplished by climbing a tall pine 
tree; according to others, by climbing a cane, the alternate 
leaves of which afforded steps as of a ladder.* A similar myth 
prevails among the Navajos ; but the place of emergence was 
located by them in the Navajo country. There was one moun- 
tain on the east like San Mateo ; one on the west like San Fran- 
cisco ; one on the north like San Juan ; one on the south like 
the heights beyond Salt Lake. When they came the land was 
not empty, but another race of people dwelt in the mountains. 
The seed grew every night, but did not grow in the day-time. 
This accounted for the solid nodes in the reed or cane. The 
Navajos have also a tradition of the flood that the water east, 
south, west, and north flowed over the land, and the people fled 
to the mountains of the north.f The Tusayans maintain that 
the outlet through which mankind came has never been 
closed, and through it the great divinity sends the germs of all 
living things. It is still symbolized by the hatchways of the 
kivas, by the designs on the sand altars, by the unconnected 
circle painted on pottery, and by devices on basketry. When 
the people came to the surface they were collected into different 
families, or tribes, and placed under the direction of twins 
( Pekonghoya and Balingahoya ), the echo, assisted by their 
grandmother, the spider woman. They distributed gifts among 
the people and assigned each family a pathway, and so the various 
families were dispersed. The legends indicated a long period of 
migrations in separate communities. One community, the 
Hopituh, after being taught to build stone houses, was also 
divided and took separate paths. The gioups came to Tusayan 
at different times and from different directions. The legend goes 
on to state that the people lived in snake skins, which hung on 
the end of a rainbow. A brilliant star rose in the southeast. 
The people cut a staff and set it in the ground, waiting until the 
star came to the top of the staff. They started and traveled as 
long as the star shone above the staff. When it disappeared 
they halted, and built houses during their halt. They built 
both round and square houses. All the ruins between here and 
Navajo Mountain mark the places." This is the story of the 
Snake people. 

Another story is told by the Horn people. They came from 
a mountain region in the east, over which roamed the deer, 
antelope, and the bison. They tell of protracted migration and 
of halting places. One of these halting places was a canon with 
high, steep walls, in which was a flowing stream. This was the 
Tsegi, the Canon de Chelly At first many of the Horns were 
dissatisfied with their cavern homes, and so they left the canon 
and finally reached Tusayan. 

*Annual report of Bureau of Ethnology for 18% and '87. P. 17. 
tSee American Antiquarian, Vol. V. No. 3, p. 298. 


The Bears also lived among the mountains of the east. They, 
too, came to the Tsegi, Canon de Chelly, where they found 
houses, but no people. They did not remain there long, but 
moved farther west, to the place occupied by the Fire People, 
who lived in a large house. The ruin of this house still stands 
and is called the fire house. 

It is admitted that the Snake people were the first occupants 
of the region, but not long after the arrival of the Horn people 
the Squash people came. They say that they came from Palat- 
kawbi, the "red land," in the far south, and for a long time they 
lived in the valley of the Colorado Chiquito.* They still distin- 
guish the ruin of their early village there, which was built as 
usual on the brink of a canon. They built no permanent houses 
until they reached the middle mesa in the vicinity of Chukubi, 
near which are ruins which they claim to have been theirs. The 
sites of the ancient Squash villages are marked by high columns 
of sandstone called guardians, very much as the site of the Walpi 
village is marked. The Squash village on the south end of the 
mesa was attacked by a fierce band of Apaches, who completely 
overpowered them. The village was then evacuated and the 
material removed to a high summit, where they reconstructed 
their dwellings around the village Mashongnavi. This tradition 
is important, for it shows that the villages were first located in 
the valleys or on the first mesa, but were afterward built on the 
high summits for the sake of protection. 

The next to follow them were the Bear, Bear-skin Rope, and 
the Blue jay. They came from the vicinity of San Francisco 
Mountain. They built a village on the south end of the mesa 
close to the site of the present Mashongnavi. Soon afterward 
came the Burrowing Owl and the Coyote from the vicinity of 
Navajo Mountain in the north. They also built upon the 
Mashongnavi summit. Straggling bands of various other groups 
are mentioned as coming from other directions. The old tradi- 
tionists at Shumopavi hold that the first to come there were the 
Paroquet, the Bear and the Blue-jay. The ruins on a mesa 
about ten miles south are the remains of a village built by them 
before they reached Shumopavi. Other groups followed the 
Mole, the Spider and the Wiksrun.f 

Shumopavi received no further accession of population. No 
important event seemed to have occurred there for a long period, 
though mention is made of the ingress of "enemies from the 
north." The Oraibi traditions tend to confirm those of Shumo- 
pavi. This story is that the first houses were built by Bears -who 
came froT the latter place; but their houses were afterward 

*The ruins ot this village cover an area ol 800 by 250 feet. There is a spring near by in 
a tall red grass, which grew abundantly there. 

tThe Wiksrun took their name from a curious ornament worn by the men. A piece of 
the leg bone of a bear, made hollow and a stopper fixed in one end, was attached to the fillet 
binding of the hair and hung down in front of the forehead. 


destroyed by the "enemies from the north." There was a con- 
tention between the people and two villages were built, and half 
way be ween the two a stone monument was placed to mark the 
boundary of the land. This monument still stands. On the end 
is carved a huge semblance of a head or mask, the eyes and 
mouth being round, shallow holes with a black line painted 
around them.* 

The legend of the Eagle people introduces them from the 
west, coming in by the way of the Moenkopi water course. 
They found many people living in Tusayan at Oraibi, near the 
middle mesa, and near the east mesa. They moved to a large 
mound just east of Mashongnavi, on the summit of which they 
built a village. Numerous traces of small-roomed houses can 
still be seen on this mound. They afterward quarreled with this 
people and moved to the Snake village, where they built their 
houses. The land around the east mesa was then ai portioned 
out to the Snakes, Horns, Bears, and Eagles each receiving 
separate lands and these old allotments are still maintained. 

The Sun people claimed to have come also from the old land 
in the south. On their northward migration they came to the 
valley of the Colorado Chiquito and found the Water people 
there. They built on the terrace close to the Squash village and 
spread their dwellings over the summit. Their village takes its 
name from a rock near by, which is used as a place for the 
deposit of votive offerings. Incoming people from the east had 
built the large village of Awatubi upon a steep mesa about nine 
miles southeast from Walpi. This village is remarkable for the 
tragic event, which occurred late in history, by which its inhabi- 
tants were entirely destroyed. 

The next arrival seemed to have been the Asa people, who in 
early days lived in the region of Chama in New Mexico. They 
moved westward to Santo Domingo, to Laguna, to Acoma, to 
Zuni, and finally reached Tusayan by way of Awatubi. The 
Asa people were among the last to arrive. They were not at 
first permitted to come up to Walpi, but for some valuable 
services in defeating the raids of the Utes and the Navajos, they 
were given planting grounds on the mesa summit; but after a 
succession of dry seasons, which caused a scarcity of food, they 
moved seventy miles northeast of Walpi to the Canon de Chelley, 
where they built houses along the base of the canon walls, and 
dwelt there for two or three generations. Here they intermar- 
ried with the Navies, and a clan cf the Navajos is still named 
after them "the Highhouse people." 

The Asa people returned to Walpi and found the houses 

*This monument reminds us of the stones which are found in France with the eyes, 
mouth and breasts carved upon them to represent the female divinity. They also remind 
us of the custom which survived in historic times; for the ancient Roman termini were also 
marked with human faces. See L'Anthropologie, Tome V., No. 2, March and April, 1894, 
p. 1^6 and 176. 

From "Canyons of the Colorado 1 


By Flood 6* Vim 


occupied. They were taken into the village of Walpi. but were 
given a. vacant strip on the east side of the mesa, where the main 
trail came up to the village. The Ute, Navajo and Apache had 
frequently gained entrance to the village by this trail, and to 
guard it the Asa people built a house group along the edge of 
the clift at that point, immediately overlooking the trail, where 
some of the people still live, and the kiva there, now used by 
the Snake order, belongs to them. (See plate.) There was a 
crevice in the rock, with a smooth bottom extending to the edge 
of the cliff and deep enough for a kikoli. A wall was built to 
close the outer edge, and it was at first intended to build a 
dwelling-house there, but it was afterward excavated to its pres- 
ent size and made into a kiva. 

The last to arrive was the "Water Family." In the story of 
their wanderings, reference is made to their various villages in 
the south, and to the rocks where they carved their totems. 
Their story is as follows: 

In the loner ago tfce people lived in the distant south, but were bad. 
The divinity, Baholikonga, got angry and turned the world upside down 
and water spouted up through the kivas and through the fire-places in the 
houses. The earth was rent in great chasms and water covered everything 
except one narrow ridge of mud, and across this the serpent deity told all 
the people to travel. As they journeyed across the feet of the bad slipped 
and they fell into the dark water; but the good, after many days, reached 
dry land. While the water was rising around the village the old people got 
on the tops of the houses, for they thought they could not struggle across 
with the younger people; but Baholikonga clothed them with the skins of 
turkeys and they spread their wings out and floated in the air just above 
the surface of the water, and in this way they got across. The turkey tail 
dragged in the water, hence the white on the turkey tail now. Wearing 
these turkey skins is the reason why old people have dewlaps under the 
chin, like a turkey; it is also the reason why old people use turkey feathers 
at the religious ceremonies. 

The Water people formerly lived south of the Apache country, where 
they built large houses and painted the rain clouds on the rocks. When 
they traveled north they came to the Little Colorado near the San Francisco 
Mountains. Here they built houses, made long ditches to carry the water 
from the river totheit gardens. Here they were tormented with and flies, 
which forced them to resume their travels. They began a long journey to 
the summit of the table-land on the north. They camped for rest on one of 
the terraces where there was no water. Here the women celebrated the 
rain feast. They danced for three days and on the fourth day the clouds 
brought them a heavy rain. 

The following is the legend: The Walpi came to visit us and asked us 
to come to their land and live with them. It was planting time when we 
arrived. The Walpi celebrated their rain feast, but brought only a mere 
misty drizzle. Then we celebrated our rain feast and planted. Great rains 
and thunder and lightning followed, and the first day after planting our corn 
was half-arm's length in height, the fourth day it was its full height, and in 
one more it was ripe. When we were going up to the village of Walpi we 
were met by a Bear-man, who said that our thunder frightened their women 
and we must not go near. After we got to the village the Walpi women 
screamed out against us, and so the Walpi turned us away. "Then our 
people traveled northward until they came to the Tsegi in the Canon de 
Chelly, but they came back and built houses and have lived here ever since." 

It was during their sojourn in Canon de Chelly that the terri- 
ble destruction of Awatubi occurred. This took place at a time 


of the feast, when the youths who had been qualified by certain 
ordeals, were admitted to councils. At these ceremonies every 
man must be in the kiva to which he belongs, as they last several 
days, and the concluding night special rites are held. The 
Walpis on this night crept up the steep trail to the summit and 
stole around the village to the courts holding the kivas. They 
snatched up the ladders through the hatchways, which was their 
only means of exit. They threw bundles of fire into the kivas 
and piles of fire-wood were thrown upon the blaze until each 
kiva became a furnace. They cast red pepper upon the fire and 
stood showering their arrows into the mass of struggling vic- 
tims. The date of this massacre was 1692. 

Such is the traditional history of the Tusayans. Its import- 
ance will be seen in the fact that it accounts for the location of 
many ot the pueblos and the ruins which are near them. It also 
explains many of the customs which still prevail, and throws 
much light upon the* architecture of the region, which is generally 
correlated to the customs and myths. 

II. We shall now proceed to consider the various pueblos, 
which were built and are still occupied by the Tusayans. 
Let us take the location of the pueblos. On this we must 
acknowledge our indebtedness to Mr. Mindeleff, who made a re- 
port of a survey of the pueblos to the Ethnological Bureau. He 
says the plateaux of Tusayan are generally diversified by canons 
and buttes, which have remarkable similarity of appearance. 
The arid character of the district is especially pronounced. The 
occasional springs are found generally at great distances apart, 
which occur in obscure nooks, reached by tortuous trails. The 
series of promontories or mesas are exceptionally rich in these 
springs. The ruins described comprise but a few of those found 
in the province. They were surveyed and recorded for the sake 
of the light that they might throw upon the relation of the 
modern pueblos to the innumerable stone buildings of unknown 
date, so widely distributed over the plateau country. In taking 
up the descriptions which are given by Mr. Mindeleff, we shall 
notice: (i.) The location of the pueblos near some spring or 
water course. (2.) The proximity to peculiar objects in the land- 
scape, such as columns of sandstone, about which traditions and 
myths were supposed to linger. (3.) The trails which led across 
the country and connected the villages with one another. 
(4.) The presence of high, isolated mesas or rocks, which serve 
for defenses in case of prolonged attack. (5.) The peculiar 
arrangement of the buildings around an enclosed court. (6.) The 
presence of the kiva near the court. Mr. Mindeleff takes the 
villages in their order, but shows that the elements prevail in 

I. Walpi Of all the pueblos occupied or in ruins within the 
provinces of Tusayan or Cibola, Walpi exhibits the widest 


departure from the typical arrangement. The confused arrange- 
ment of the rooms, mainly due to the irregularities of the site, 
contrasts with the regularity of some of the other villages, and 
has no comparison with most of the "ancient works." The gen- 
eral plan confirms the traditional accounts of its foundation. 
According to these its growth was gradual, beginning with a 
few small clusters, which were added to from time to time, the 
site having been chosen on account of its favorable position as 
an outlook over the fields. Yet even here an imperfect example 
of a typical enclosed court may be found at the point where the 
principal kiva, or ceremonial chamber of the village, is situated. 
An unique feature in this kiva is its connection with a second 
subterranean chamber, which is said to connect with an upper 
room within the cluster of dwellings. The rocky mesa summit 
is quite irregular in this vicinity. The kiva is subterranean and 
was built in an accidental break in a sandstone. On the very 
margin of this fissure stands a curious isolated rock, which has 
survived the general erosions of the mesa.* It is near this rock 
that the celebrated snake dance takes place, although the kiva 
from which the dancers emerge to perform the open-air cere- 
mony is not adjacent to this monument. A short distance 
farther toward the north occur a group of three more kivas. 
These are on the very brink of the mesa and have been built in 
recesses in the crowning ledge of sandstone of such size that they 
could conveniently be walled up on the outside, the outer surface 
of rude walls being continuous with the precipitious rock face of 
the mesa. 

The positions of all these ceremonial chambers seem to cor- 
respond with exceptionally rough and broken portions of the 
mesa top, showing that their location in relation to the dwelling 
clusters was due largely to accident and does not possess the 
significance that position does in many ancient pueblos built on 
level and unincumbered sites, where the adjustment was not con- 
trolled by the character of the surface. 

The Walpi promontory is so abrupt and difficult of access 
that there is no trail by which horses can be brought to the vil- 
lage without passing through Hano and Sichumovi, traversing 
the whole length of the mesa tongue, and crossing a rough 
break or depression in the mesa summit close to the village. 
Several foot trails give access to the village, partly over the 
nearly perpendicular faces of rock. All of these have required 
to be artificially improved in order to render them practicable. 
The plate from a photograph illustrates one of these trails, 
which, a portion of the way, leads up between a huge detached 
slab of sand-stone and the face of the mesa. It will be seen that 
the trail at this point consists, to a large extent, of stone steps 

See Plate. This is the rock which appears SJ conspicuously in all representations of 
he snake dance. The kiva may be seea close by and the stairway to the valley in Iront of it. 


that have been built in. At the top of the flight of steps, where 
the trail to the mesa summit turns to the right, the solid sand- 
stone has been pecked out so as to furnish a series of foot-holes, % 
or steps, with no projection or hold of any kind alongside. 
There are several trails on the west side of the mesa leading 
down both from Walpi and Sichumovi to a spring below, which 
are quite as abrupt as the example illustrated. All the water 
used in these villages, except such as is caught during showers 
in the basin-like water pockets of the mesa top, is laboriously 
brought up these trails in large earthenware canteens slung over 
the backs of the women. 

Supplies of every kind, provisions, harvested crops, fuel, etc., 
are brought up these steep trails, and often from a distance of 
several miles, yet these conservative people tenacious y cling to 
the inconvenient situation selected by their fathers lo Ig after the 
necessity for so doing has passed aw?y 

2. Mashongnavi. This was originally near a large isolated 
rock known as the "giant's chair;" but the present village was 
built against a broad massive ledge of sandstone and is conformed 
to the site as closely as Shupolavi, which is seen in the distance.* 
It is a compact, but irregular village and conforms to the general 
outline of the available ground. The eastern portion of the 
village forms a more decided court than do the other portions, 
One uniform gray tint, with only slight local variations in 
character and finish of masonry, imparts a monotonous effect of 
antiquity to the whole mass of dwellings By far the largest 
number of pueblos if occupied for any length of time must have 
been subject to irregular enlargement. A few ancient examples 
are so symmetrical in their arrangement that they seem to be 
the result of a single effort. Another feature that suggests 
greater antiquity is the names of the occurrence of the kiva here; 
for the builders evidently sought to secure its enclosure within 
the court, thus conforming to the typical pueblo arrangement. 
The general view given of Mashongnavi, as well as that of its 
neighbor, Shupolavi, was not particularly defensible; and this 
fact secured adherence to the first plan of the pueblo, which was 
built with the defensive inclosed court containing the ceremonial 
chamber. The other courts were added as the village grew. 
Each added row facing toward the back of an older row, pro- 
ducing a series of courts with the terraces on the western sides, 
carry out a fixed plan. This was the case at the pueblo Bonito 
on the Chaco, where the even curve of the exterior defensive 
wall, four stories high, remained unbroken, where the large 
inclosed court was surrounded by the wings. See plates which 
illustrate this. In the case of Mashongnavi the enlargement of 

* The presence of the sand-stone column is significant, for it would seem as though many 
of the pueblos were located near such objects conveying the idea that there was a sacred- 
ness about them. 


the pueblo was at various supposed periods; but the original 
building followed the plan of making the outer walls a defense, 
while the inner walls were arranged in terraces surrounding an 
enclosure. Nearly all the dwelling apartments open in wards 
upon the enclosure. 

The arrangement of dwellings about a court characteristic of 
the ancient pueblos continued. Their clustering seems to have 
gone on around the center. Although a street or passage-way 
intervenes, it is covered with two or three terraces, the upper 
part having an insecure foundation.* The general view of this 
village strikingly illustrates the blending of the rectangular 
forms with the angular and sharply defined features of the sur- 
rounding rock, and the correspondence is greatly heightened by 
the similarity in color. Mr. Stephen has called attention to this 
in the case of Walpi, where the buildings come to the very 
mesa's ed^e, and in their vertical lines appear to carry out the 
effect of the vertical fissures in the upper benches of sandstone. 
He thought that this indicated a distinct effort at concealment 
on the part of the builders. Such correspondence with the 
surroundings forms a striking feature of many primitive types of 
construction. f This is illustrated in the case ot Mashongnari 
and Shupolavi, which, when seen at a distance, can hardly be 
distinguished from the rocks from which they are built. 

3. The pueblo of Shupolavi is the smallest of the Tusayan 
group and illustrates the supposed use and principles ot an 
inclosed court. The plan of this village shows three covered 
passage-ways similar to those noted in Walpi. "Its presence 
may be due to a determination to adhere to the plan of a pro- 
tected court while seeking to secure convenient means of access 
to the enclosed area." Mr. Mindeleff speaks of the Zuni pueblo 
as having a number of these covered passage-ways. He says 
the highest type of pueblo construction embodied in the large 
communal houses of the valleys could have developed only as 
the builders learned to rely for protection upon their architecture, 
and less upon the sites occupied. The Zunis seemed to adhere 
to their valley pueblo through great difficulties. 

4. Shumopavi, compared with the other villages, shows less 
evidence of having been built on the open court idea, as the 
partial enclosures assume such elongated forms, with straight 
rows of rooms. An examination shows that the idea was present 
to a slight extent. At the southeast corner of the pueblo there 
is a very marked approach to the open court, though the eastern- 
most row has its back to the court. Two covered passages give 
access to the southeast portion of the court. The kivas are four 
in number, of which but one is within the village. Three kivas 
are subterranean, and in order to obtain a suitable site near the 

*See Plate showing passage-way at Walpi. 

tSee Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, 1886-87, p. 72. 


mesa's edge, are located at a distance from the village itself. 
The stonework of the village possesses somewhat a distinct 
character. The masonry resembles ancient work. Shumopavi 
is the successor of an older village, the ruins of which still exist. 

5. Oraibi is one of the largest modern pueblos and contains 
nearly half of the population of Tusayan. .The general plan 
shows a large collection of typical Tusayan house, rows which 
faced eastward. The rarity of covered passage ways in this vil- 
lage is noteworthy and emphasizes the difference between the 
Tusayan and Zuni ground plans. The occupation of a defensive 
site has, in a measure, taken the place of a special defensive 
arrangement or a close clustering of rooms. Further contrast is 
afforded by the different manner in which the roof-openings have 
been employed. In the Zuni a number of openings were intended 
for the admission of light, a few only provided with ladders. In 
Oraibi not more than half were intended for light. 

6. Moenkopi. About fifty miles west of Oraibi is a small 
settlement used by a few families during the farming season. 
Here a large area of fertile soil can be conveniently irrigated 
from copious springs in the side of a small branch. The village 
occupies a knoll at the junction of the branch with the main 

This review of the Tusayan villages has its bearing upon the 
traditionary history of all the pueblos. It shows that there was 
a uniform style of building; but the departure from this occurred 
at a modern date. This enables us to decide as to what pueblos 
are the most ancient, It may be said that if we go away from 
the sites of Tusayan and Zuni in a northwest direction we shall 
find in the Canon de Chelly that the pueblos were more ancient ; 
although of the same general type. If, on the other hand, we go 
to the west we shall find that on the Rio Gila the pueblos were 
not only more ancient, but of a different type. This confirms 
the traditions which are extant among the Tusayans. We shall 
need to take a larger scope to understand the entire history. 

III. The architecture of the pueblos furnishes us with many 
hints as to their history, and confirms these traditions. 

Let us consider for a moment the peculiarities of this archi- 
tecture. Several authors have written upon this subject and 
given their opinions. Among them the first to be mentioned is 
Mr. L. H. Morgan, now deceased. His theory was that the 
pueblos were all based upon a defensive principle, but with a 
peculiar adaptation to communism. He thinks that in the region 
of the San Juan river, in New Mexico, in Mexico, and in Central 
America, there was one connected system of house architecture 
and substantially one mode of life. "The Indians north of New 
Mexico did not construct their houses more than one story high 
or of more durable materials than a frame of poles, or of timber 
covered with matting, bark or earth. A stockade around their 


houses was their principal protection. In New Mexico going 
southward are met, for the first time, houses constructed with 
several stories. In Yucatan and Central America Indians in 
their architecture were in advance. Next to them were the 
Aztecs. Holding the third position were the village Indians of 
New Mexico. All alike depended on horticulture for subsist- 
ence cultivation by irrigation. Their houses represent together 
an original indigenous architecture which, with its diversities, 
sprang out of their necessities." 

Its fundamental element was the communal type combined 
with the provisions for defense. The defenses were not so much 
to protect the village Indians from one another as from the 
attacks of migrating bands flowing down upon them from the 

He further says that "the progress of improvement in 
architecture seems to have been from smaller to larger rooms 
followed by a reduction of the size of the house in ground dimen- 
sions." "An examination of some very old ruins in New Mexico 
east of the Rio Grande near Santo Domingo reveals the fact that 
the pueblo was more like a cluster of cells than of rooms, as 
many of them were but four or five feet square and contrasted 
strongly with the present inhabited pueblos." 

Mr. Morgan thinks an early seat of Indian village life was in 
the San Juan district, in the valley of the Chaco on the Animas 
River, in the Montezuma Valley, on the Hovenweep, on the Rio 
Dolores. AnH here was the most ancient development of ancient 
village life in America. Cave-dwellings or cliff-houses are in the 
San Juan district, the most oi them being on the Mancos River. 
He further says it is probable that the original ancestors of the 
principal tribes of Mexico, Yucatan and Central America once 
inhabited the San Juan district, and the Mound-builders may 
have come from the same country, and as proof he refers to the 
current tradition that these people painted their original home 
in the manner of a cave and they came out of seven caves to 
people the country of Mexico. The evidence of occupation and 
cultivation through the greater part of this area is sufficient to 
suggest that the Indian here first attained the middle status of 
barbarism, and sent forth migrating bands who carried this 
advanced culture to the Mississippi Valley, Mexico and Central 
America, and not unlikely to South America. They planted 
gardens and constructed nouses as they advanced from district 
to district, and moved as circumstances prompted, their migrations 
continuing through centuries of time. 

There is a plausibility to Mr. Morgan's views, especially when 
we consider that the southern Mound-builders built their houses 
upon terraced pyramids, which were often arranged around an 
enclosed court. The Aztecs also built their palaces around an 
enclosed court, and placed their temples in sacred enclosures, 


making the terraced pyramid their typical structure. This is 
regarded by some as an evidence that the tribes of the south- 
west were all of the Malayan stock, and it is conjectured that 
possibly the style may have been introduced from the southeast 
of Asia. We 'may, at least, say that the style of architecture 
was entirely different from that which prevailed among the wild 
tribes of the north, for these never built their houses in terraces 
and rarely made their villages to enclose a court, the majority of 
them having rude tents, which were built on the ground and 
placed in rows, sometimes with a stockade surrounding them 

Still, Mr. Cosmos Mindeleff says the pueblo architecture was 
intimately connected with and dependent upon the country 
where its remains are found. The limits of this country are 
coincident with the boundaries of the plateau region so much 
so that a map of the latter would serve to show the former. 

Tsegi is almost in the center of this country. The ruins show 
several periods of occupation, which may be classified as follows: 
I. Old villages on open sites. 2. Home villages on bottom 
lands. 3. Villages located ior defense. 4. Cliff outlooks. By 
the study of the cliff ruins we are led to the conclusion that they 
are connected with and inhabited at the same time as a number of 
larger home villages.* 

These structures are typical of all the aboriginal houses in 
New Mexico. They show two principal features the terraced 
form of architecture, with the housetops as the social gathering 
places of the inmates, and a closed ground story for safety. 
Every house is, therefore, a fortress. Mr. Mindeleff says of the 
ceremonials connected with the house-building: The material 
having been accumulated, the builder goes to the village chief, 
who prepares for him four small eagle feathers. The chief ties 
a short cotton string to the stem of each, sprinkles them with 
votive meal, and breathes upon them his prayers for the welfare 
of the proposed house and its occupants. These feathers are 
called Nakwakwoci, a term meaning a breathed prayer, and the 
prayers are addressed to Masauwu, the sun, and to other deities 
concerned in houselife. These feathers are placed at the four 
corners of the house and a large stone is laid over each of them. 
The builder then decides where the door is to be located, and 
marks the place by setting some food on each side of it; he then 
passes around the site from right to left, sprinkling piki crumbs 
and other particles of food, mixed with native tobacco, along the 
lines to be occupied by the walls. As he sprinkles this offering 
he sings to the sun his Kitdauwi, house song: "Si-ai, a-hi, si-ai, 
a-hai." The meaning of these words the people have now for- 
gotten. The house being completed, the builder prepares four 
feathers and ties them to a short piece of willow, the end of 

*See American Anthropologist, Vol. VIII, No. 2, p 153. 











of which is inserted over one of the central roof houses. 
The feathers are renewed every year, at a feast celebrated in 
December, when the sun begins to turn northward, thus show- 
ing that the history of the house was to be connected with the 
heavens and the course of the sun. 

This dedication of a house, by placing feathers under the 
rafters, among the Tusayans, is paralleled by the dedication of 
the kivas among the ancient inhabitants on the Chaco. The 
kiva was always characterized by a circular wall forming a room, 
the roof of which is usually below the level of the surrounding 
rooms. At the base of this wall is a bench of solid masonry, 
from two to four feet high, which projects from two to three 
feet into the room. On the bench are six piers, or blocks of 
masonry, which represent the pillars of the sky. The niches 
between the piers and the projecting ledge represent the circuit 
of the earth. The orifice in the centre of the kiva, called the 
sipapuh, represents the " place of emergence." 

A recent discovery by Mr. George H. Pepper in the Pueblo 
Bonito, shows that there were ceremonial deposits in the kivas. 
These deposits were placed on the top of the pillars and below 
the roof beams. In this case, they consisted of turquoise, 
pieces of crude shell, and turquoise in the matrix. Materials 
of this nature are generally considered to be sacrifices. They 
were placed exactly under the six points, where the lowest roof 
beams rested on the pillars, and literally supported the entire 
roof, and so must have had a peculiar significance.* 

The kivas of the Cliff-Dwellers, according to Mr. Norden- 
skjold, were also constructed in the same way, and it is probable 
that offerings were made to the divinities, at the time that they 
were constructed. VVe see, then; from these customs, that there 
was a unity among all the tribes of the Pueblos and of the 
Cliff-Dwellers, and that all were organized into tribes and 
gentes, which had the same mode of government, the same 
religious customs, and probably the same mythology. 

IV. We turn now to the different periods which are repre- 
sented by the Cliff-Dwellers and Pueblos alike. These are some- 
what difficult to make out, but, judging from the traditions, the 
relics, the ruins, the pictographs, and other tokens, we should 
divide them, as follows: First, the period in which the earliest 
pueblos were erected, a period which is marked by the very 
rude cliff-dwellings. To this period we would ascribe the cliff- 
dwellings near the Red Rocks, which are given the names of 
Palatki. Halonka, and Bear House. These are the rudest 
specimens which have been discovered, though they have the 
bulging bow-window fronts which characterize some of the 
cliff-dwe'lings farther north, especially that at Monarch's Cave 
in Utah. To this period, also, we ascribe the boulder sites 
and the irrigating ditches. The ancient walls, which are found 

See " Monumental Records," Vol. I., No. i, page 5. i 

1 66 


in the cliff-dwellings of the San Juan, where there aje no irri- 
gating ditches, also belong to this period. 

The second period was the one in which the wild tribes in- 
vaded the Pueblo, territory and drove those who were dwelling 
in the pueblos from their homes, and compelled them to build 
their houses high up in the cliffs, and compelled others to con- 
struct walls about their pueblos. This was the Cliff-Dwellers' 
period, for in it most of the cliff-dwellings were erected. It 
preceded the advent of the Spaniards. 

The third period began after the advent of the Spaniards, 
and continued up to the war with Mexico, and was marked by 
the appearance of a large number of cathedrals and churches, 
and by the concentration of 
the pueblos into prominent 
centres. This was a period in 
which many of the pueblos 
went to ruins; among them 
those east of the Rio Grande, 
Pecos, and the three pueblos 
which have been called " the 
cities that were forgotten," 
namely, Tabira, Cuaras, and 
Abo. Of these, Tabira was 
the most prominent. Here 
was a cathedral, which is now 
in ruins, but which was, at one 
time, a fine specimen of archi- 
tecture. The entrance, with the 
carved lintel, is represented in 
the cut. The place was known 
as "Gran Ouivira." It was one 
of the larger pueblos and had, 
perhaps, 1,500 inhabitants. A 
long, narrow array of three- 
and four - storied terraced 
houses, facing each other 
across the valley; six circular 
estufas, partly subteranean, 
were characteristic of it. These pueblos went to ruins under the 
attacks of the Apaches, combined with the oppression of the 
priests. There were three great churches, extensive convents, 
large reservoirs, rimmed with stone, to catch and hold the rain 
and snow; but the plain was an utter desert, and the cities were 

The fourth and last period has been marked by the erection 
of many modern pueblos, and by the introduction of modern 
furniture into the houses, by the change of the dress and the 
appearance of the Pueblos themselves. 

The plates show the structures which belong to these dif- 
ferent periods. One of these represents Taos, with its ancient 



walls, irrigating ditches; its terraced buildings, erected in the 
pyramidal form one on either side of the stream; a pueblo 
which probably was erected in prehistoric times. Another 
plate represents Hano, one of the seven pueblos of Tusayan, 
with its courts, its kiva, its terrace, flat roofs, and tl e mesa ad- 
joining. This is a modern structure, and is not as well built as 
the ancient. The third plate represents the interior of a Tusayan 
house, with its modern-shaped fire-place, with chimney and 
chimney-hood; its stone floor; its ollas, or water-jars, which 
were always kept filled; its pottery bowls; also, its mctates, or 
mills for grinding meal. The woven blankets, thrown over the 
pole, are evidently modern, as are also the windows and other 
furnishings. Another plate represents a modern room in a 
Zuni pueblo, with a door and window and chimney and couch, 
all of which were evidently borrowed from white men of recent 
date. The dress of the women is partly modern and partly 
ancient. The style of leaving one shoulder out is ancient, but 
the drapery is otherwise modern. The bowls and jars are of 
modern construction. The two plates represent the latest 

The history of these different periods can not be fully made 
out, though there are traditions which connect them closely. 
There seem to have been movements among the tribes before 
the advent of the Spaniards. The most of them were caused 
by the incursions of the wild tribes, especially the Apaches. 
This is illustrated by the map which was prepared by Mr. Oscar 
Loew, and which represents the pueblo region, with the tribes 
distributed according to their languages, and the tribal bound- 
aries drawn from such data as could be gained. Another map, 
prepared by Major Powell and published in the Second Annual 
Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, represents several classes 
of structures, namely, the inhabited, abandoned, and ruined 
pueblos, cavate houses, cliff houses, and towers. Both maps 
show that the Pueblos once inhabited the entire region between 
the Colorado on the west and the Rio Grande on the east; the 
Rio San Juan on the north and the Gila on the south, and that 
they then had entire possession of the territory. They show 
that the tribes on the northern and southern borders were 
driven toward the centre, and that the abandoned territory was 
occupied by the various wild tribes, such as the Apaches, 
Comanches, Utes, etc. Most of the pueblos were left to go to 

Traditions show that in prehistoric times the tribes moved 
from one part of the territory to the other, and it is a singular 
fact that the inhabited pueblos are all found on the route which 
was taken by the Spaniards on their first advent in 1540, and 
that'all ot the region surrounding, is without any tribal division, 
and marked only by the sites of ruins, though, if we take the 
ruins in evidence, we might construct a map which would show 
the location of other tribes; those on the Chaco indicating the 


habitat of one tribe; those on the San Juan, of another; those 
on the Rio de Chelly, of still another. It is probable that the 
pueblos of the Tusayans were the last resort for these tribes, 
when they were driven out, as they were situated in the centre 
and were secure from invasion because of their location upon 
the mesas. 

It appears that their clans were mingled with those of the 
Tusayans and occupied apartments in the Tusayan villages. 
This is shown by a map which has been prepared by Mr. 
Mindeleff, from information furnished by Mr. A. W- Stephens. 
He says: 

In the older and more symmetrical examples there was doubless some 
effort to distribute the various gentes, or, at least, the phratries. in definite 
quarters of the village, as stated traditionally. At the present day, how- 
ever, there is little trace of such localization. In the case of Oraibi, the 
largest of the Tusayan villages, Mr. Stephens has with great care and 
patience ascertained the distribution of the various gentes in the village. 
The only trace of a traditional village plan, or arrangement of contiguous 
houses, is found in a meager mention in some of the tradition 1 ::, that rows of 
houses were built to enclose the court and to form an appropriate place tor 
the public dances and processions of masked dancers. No definite ground- 
plan, however, is ascribed to these traditional court enclosing houses, 
although at one period in the evolution of this defensive type of architecture 
they must have partaken somewhat of the symmetrical grouping found on 
the Rio Chaco and elsewhere. 

The Zunis and the Tusayans belong to dis'inct linguistic stocks, but 
they are not so very closely related. The migrations of the Tusayan clans, 
as described in the legends, were slow and tedious. While they pursued 
their wanderings and awaited the favorable omens of the gods, they halted 
at places on their route during a certain number of "plantings," always 
building the characteristic stone pueblos. The tribe to-day seems to be 
made up of a confederacy of many enfeebled remmants of independent 
phratries and groups, once more numerous and powerful. The members of 
each phratry have their own store of traditions relating to the wanderings 
of their own ancestors, which differ from those of other clans, and refer to 
villaees successively built and occupied by them. 

The architectural and traditional evidence establishes a continuity of 
descent from the ancient Pueblos tothose of the present day. The adaptation 
of the architecture to the peculiar environment, indicates that it has long- 
been practiced under the same conditions that now prevail. The pueblo 
population was probably subjected to the necessity of defence throughout the 
whole period of their occupation of the territory. They were stimulated 
by the difficult conditions of their environment, and by constant necessity 
for protection against their neighbors, to make the best use of the materials 
about them; but the various steps or stages of growth from the primitive 
conical lodge to the culmination in the large communal village of many- 
storied, terraced buildings, can be traced in the ruins. The results attest 
the patience and industry of the ancient builders, but the work does not 
display great skill in construction, or in the preparation of material. The 
appearance depended on the careful selection and arrangement of the 
fragments in the walls, rather than in any finished masonry. This is more 
noticeable in the Chaco ruins than in modern pueblos. Here the walls and 
the rooms were wrought to a high degree of surface finish. 




We now turn to the comparison of the architecture of the 
ancient and modern pueblos. 

We have shown, elsewhere, that there were several districts, 
each one of which was characterized by a different style of 
building. Those of the central districts on the Zuni and Chaco 
rivers, were erected in terraces around a court with the apart- 
ments close together, after the " honey-comb" pattern ; those in 
the district on the Rio Gila were separate buildings, scattered over 
a level valley along the side of irrigating canals, with one large 
building, which might be called a "castle" or "citadel" in the 
centre of the village; those situated to the southeast presented a 
combination of the " cavate house " and the pueblo, as there are 
many caves in this region and near them the ruins of ancient 
pueblos. On the Rio Grande the style was to build in terraces 
around the four sides of a court, or on two sides of a stream, 
with the stream draining the court. On the Rio San Juan there 
was a great diversity of style ; some of the ruined buildings are 
in the shape of terraced pueblos, built after the " honey-comb " 
pattern ; others are separate buildings, grouped together, but 
making a 'straggling village' ; others are cavate houses with tow- 
ers above the caves ; the typical structures of this region are the 
cliff-dwellings or cliff villages, which were built into the sides of 
the cliffs, and so arranged that the court should be in the rear of 
the buildings and the towers in front of the buildings, the whole 
group or line of structures forming a compact village, which 
was made safe from attack by its situation, the houses being 
difficult of access. 

The district on the Kanab and Colorado Rivers, and along 
the Grand Canon, is according to Maj. Powell characterized by 
houses which were scattered over the region near springs and 
streams which could be used for irrigation, and were occupied 
during summer and were called rancherias; these were connected 
with a central pueblo, which was the permanent residence and 
capable of holding several thousand people There was a dis- 
trict on the Sonora, in Mexico, in which the houses were built 
after the pattern of the Casa Grande, on platforms and in ter- 
raced pyramids.* 

* See Chapter V, p. 65. Exploration of the Pueblo Territory. 


This classification of the pueblos corresponds closely to that 
recognized by the Spaniards, as will be shown by the following 
quotation from Castaneda: "The name Chilticali, was given in 
former times to this place (Casa Grande), because the Friars 
found in the neighborhood a people who came from Cibola. 
The house was large and it seemed to have served as a fortress. 
Up to Cibola, which lies eighty leagues to the north, the country 
rises continually. The province of Cibola (Zuni) contains seven 
villages; the largest was called Muzaque; the houses of the 
country, ordinarily, consist of three and four stories, but at 
Muzaque some have as many as seven. Twenty leagues to the 
northwest is another province contaning seven villages (the Mo- 
qui villages); the inhabitants have the same manners, wear the 
same dress, and have the same religions as the inhabitants of 
Cibola. It is estimated that three or four thousand men are 
distributed among the villages of these two provinces. Tiguex 
lies to the northeast at a distance of forty leagues from 
Cibola ; between these two provinces is the rock of (Acuco) 
Acoma. The province of Tiguex contains twelve villages situ- 
ated on the banks of a great river. It is a valley about two 
leagues broad. It is bounded on the west by very high moun- 
tains covered with snow. Four villages are built at the foot of 
these mountains and three on the ^eights. ^Farther north lies 
the province of Quirix, which contains seven villages. Seven 
leagues to the northeast is the province of Hemes (Jemez), which 
contains the same number. Forty leagues in the same direction 
lies Acha (Cliaco). Four leagues to the southeast is situated 
the province of Tutehaco, which contains eight villages." 

The following survive some of them in modern style: Cibola 
seven villages; Tusayan seven; the Rock of Acuco one; 
Tiguex twelve; Tutehaco eight, reached by descending the 
river; Querix seven ; among the Snowy mountains seven , 
Ximena three ; Cicuye one ; Hemes seven ; Aquas Calientes 
three; Yunque six, on the mountain; Valladolid or Braba one; 
and Chia one. This makes seventy in all. Tiguex is a central 
point and Valladolid is the last village up the river to the north- 
east." The most of these villages have been identified : Cibola 
with Zuni, Tusayan with Moqui, Acuco with Acoma, Tiguex 
with Albuquerque, Tutehaco with Tutehaco, Quirix with Queres, 
Muzaque with Toyoalana, Cicuye with Laguna, Hemes with 
Jemez, Braba with Taos, Chia with Sia. The Cliff-dwellings in 
the Mesa Verde and the ruined buildings on the San Juan, and 
on the Rio de Chelley, do not seem to have been known to the 
Spaniards ; at least, they are not mentioned. 

A description of the village of Laguna, given by Castaneda, in 
1540, will show to us what its style of architecture was at that 
time : " The village of Cicuye can muster about five hundred 
warriors, dreaded by all their neighbors. It is built on the top 

%V ,,WJ-M2 


of a rock and forms a great square, the centre of which is occu- 
pied by an open space containing the estufas. The houses have 
four stories, with terraced roofs, all of the same height, on which 
one can make a circuit of the whole village without finding a 
street to bar one's progress. On the first two stories there are 
corridors, like balconies, on which you may walk around the 
village and under which you may find shelter. The houses have 
no doors in the basement; the balconies, which are on the in- 
side of the village, are reached by ladders, which may be drawn 
up. It is on these balconies, which take the place of streets, 
that all the doors open by which entrance is gained to the 
houses. The houses that front on the plain, stand back to back 
with the others which look upon the court. The latter are 
the higher, a c rcumstance of great service in time of war. The 
village is further surrounded by a rather low wall. There is a 
spring, which might, however, be turned off from the village." 

As to the manner of building the pueblos, Castaneda says: 
" The houses are built in common; it is the women that mix 
the mortar and erect the walls ; the men bring the timbers and 
do the joinery. They have no lime, but have a mixture of 
ashes, earth and charcoal, which replaces it very well, for though 
they build their houses to the height of four stories, the walls 
are no more than one-half of a fathom thick. They collect great 
heaps of thyme and rushes, and set them on ^re; when this 
mass is reduced to ashes and charcoal, they cast a great quan- 
tity of earth and water upon it and mix .the whole together; 
they coat the whole wall with this mixture, so it bears no little 
resemblance to a structure of masonry." As to the estufas, 
Castaneda says ; " They lie underground in the court yards ot 
the village ; some of them are square and some of them round ; 
the roof is supported by pillars made of pine trunks. I have 
seen estufas of twelve pillars each, of two fathoms in circumfer- 
ence, but usually there are only four. They are paved with 
large, polished stones, like baths in Europe: In the centre is a 
hearth on which a fire burns, and a handful of thyme is now and 
then thrown on the fire ; this is enough to keep up the warmth, 
so that one feels as if in a bath ; the roof is on a level with the 
ground. The houses belong to the women, the estufas to the 

There are traditions among the Tusayans which make men- 
tion of all of these pueblos, and show the migrations which took 
place towards the central province, thus giving a history of the 
entire region. These traditions have been gathered by Mr. A. 
M. Stephen. The following is the summary of them, with the 
names of the totems ; The Snake people and the Bear people 
came from the north by way of the Rio de Chelley ; the Horn 
people from the Rio Grande, also by way of the Rio de Chel- 
ley ; the Squash and Sun people from the red land of the west, 


by way of the Colorado Chiquito; the Water people from the 
far south, by way of the Little Colorado, where they had ir- 
rigating canals ; the Asa people came from Rio Chama, by way 
of San Domingo, Laguna, Acoma and Zuni ; the Hano people 
from the Rio Grande, by the river de Chelley, and settled at 
Hano; the Payup-ki people came from the north, from the San 
Juan river. They first moved to the Jemez mountains where 
they remained until the Spanish Massacre in 1680; they then 
moved west to Ft. Wingate, and so on, to the Tusayans, and set- 
tled at Pay-up-ki. 

This same division of the Pueblo territory is exhibited by the 
languages used by the surviving tribes 

According to F. W. Hodge the Pueblo languages are divided 
into five stocks, as follows: (i) Tanoan, including Tano, Tewa, 
Tiwa, Jemez and Piro, all situated on the Rio Grande. (2) Kere- 
san, these occupy the Pueblos of Acoma, Laguna, Sia, Santa 
Anna, San Felipe, Santo Domingo and Cochiti Cochiti. (3) 
The Zunian stock, which occupy the Pueblos of Zuni. (4) The 
Shoshonean stock occupy the Tusayan towns of Walpi, Mas- 
hongnavi, Shipaulovi, Shumopavi, Oraibi. (5) The Pimas oc- 
cupied the Rio Gila. (6) The Papagoes occupied the province 
of Sonora, Mexico. 

These records confirm the traditions preserved by the Indians 
and show that there were different tribes in the pueblo territory; 
that they came irom different directions, were of different origin, 
settled in different districts and had a separate and distinct tribal 
history a history which we may read in the architecture, art, 
and other tokens of the district. 

It is indeed a favorable field for one who is given to theorizing 
to make out a history of the progress of architecture, and to show 
that the caves were the first abodes, after them the cliff-dwellings, 
after the cliff dwellings, the fortresses on the Mesas, atter these 
the "great houses" or pueblos in the valleys, the pattern being 
drawn from the shape of the Mesas, or if this fails, to advance 
another theory. The primeval abode was the hut, the shape of 
which is preserved in the solitary houses; the next stage is marked 
by the clusters of huts in a straggling village; the third by 
compacting the apartments into one great house. 

These theories are very plausible, but history does not con- 
firm them, for the fact is, the caves were inhabited quite as late 
as the pueblos, by tribes whose names and migrations are known. 
The Cliff-dwellings were erected after the ruined pueblos in the 
same region, and by a people who once occupied the ruins, but 
were compelled to leave them and resort to the cliffs for defence. 

The pueblos of the central district were the final resort of the 
tribes, who built both the Cliff-dwellings and pueblos, but were 

*lt may be difficult to fix upon the boundaries of these provinces, yet if we examine the 
ruins which predominate, we may not only decide as to the tribal habitat but even learn 
much of the tribal history. 


driven by the Apaches and other wild tribes from their ancient 
homes and compelled to concentrate their settlements here, for 
the sake of defense. 

There are, indeed, great similarities between the structures 
of the different districts, for all contain the same elements, meet 
the same necessities and seem to have been erected by a people 
of the same grade of advancement. Yet there are differences 
enough to show that the people were divided into tribes, and 
that each tribe had its own ancient habitat, and left in its 
habitat those tokens by which we may recognize them as plain- 
ly as if they were still living and appeared before us in their 
usual costumes ; and speaking their original languages and 
were practicing their tribal customs. This may seem to be a 
strong statement, yet if the science of archaeology as distin- 
guished from ethnology is worth anything, it ought to enable us 
to travel through such a region as this, and learn the char- 
acter and the condition of the people as clearly as we could if we 
were in the midst of living tribes. We do not need to confine 
ourselves to the architecture of the region, for there are many 
other tokens, such as the different specimens of pottery, the vari- 
ous relics in stone, bone and wood, textile fabrics, occasionally 
idols and images, skulls and human remains, and what is more 
important the petroglyphs 1 or rock inscriptions which contain 
the tribal emblems or clan totems. All of these exhibit the tri- 
bal divisions. While there was a similar mode of life, a similar 
grade of society, a similar tribal organization, there are evidences 
that the different tribes inhabited the river valleys and developed 
styles of architecture peculiar to themselves. 

It may be well, then, for us to take these ancient pueblos 
and make them our special study, 2 for by this means we shall 
be able to trace the tribal history back to pre-historic times. 

There may have been a succession of population in each prov- 
ince, some of them having been lower, others higher, in the 
scale of progress, but in many of the provinces we find that the 
last to occupy the region were the lowest, the wild tribes such as 
the Pimas ;! Navajoes, Apaches, having succeeded those who were 
sedentary in their habits and more advanced in their civilization. 
It is the middle period of occupation which most interests us, 
for in this period all of the elements of Pueblo life appeared. 

1 The Petroglyphs of the different provinces seem to differ, as will be seen from examining 
descriptions given by W. H. Holmes, Dr VVashington Matthews and others. The pottery 
found in the different river valleys has diverse patterns and material, according to its 
age, the black and white, which is generally considered the oldest, being found only in cer- 
tain exceptional districts. 

2 The following are the names which have been given to the different buildings to des- 
cribe their style, each name showing the characteristic of the architecture in the different 
provinces : (i) The great house, of the honeycomb pattern, is illustrated by the Zuni Pueb- 
los, but prevailed throughout the entire region. (2) The "citadel" pattern is illustrated 
by the ruins of Casa Grande on the Gila. Casas Grandes, in Sonora, Mexico. 

Some have maintained that the Pimas are the survivors of the people who built Casa 
Grande and the Navajoes are the survivors of those who built the Clirf dwellings, but the 
contrast between the rude tents which they occupy and the stone buildings seems to contro- 
vert it. 



The analysis of the architecture of this period reveals certain 
features 1 which are common throughout the entire region, thus 
making it probable that there was a growth and development of 
what might be called the Pueblo style entirely separate and dis- 
tinct from every other. Yet it was a growth which came from 
and was best adapted to the domestic life, the tribal organiza- 
tion and the peculiar customs of each tribe. 

It is everywhere recorded that the " house " belonged to the 
women but the Kivas belonged to the men. The men dwelt 
apart from the women. As a result we find that the houses 
were always arranged with the domestic apartments closely 
grouped and compacted, the security and convenience of the 


(3) The ''two house" pattern is illustrated by the Pueblo Taos and the ruin on Animas 

The " two house " pattern may have been used for the two parts of a " phratry " as has 
been suggested by Walter J. Fewkes, the two sections ot the Cliff-houseon the Rio Verde, 
having been used for that purpose. 

(4) The " Cliff house " pattern is illustrated by ruins found on the Mancos, Rio de Chelley 
and the Rio Verde in Arizona. 

(5) The " cavate house " is represented by specfmens described by Mr. W. H. Holmes, on 
the San Juan, and by Major Powell and others as on the Rio Dolores and on the Rio 

(6) The '' small house" pattern is illustrated by the solitary houses, numerous lodgings, 
situated mostly among the mountains. 

(7) "Straggling villages " is a term applied to various sites wherever the houses are scat- 

(8) The "boulder sites" are found mainly on th> Rio Verde near ancient Acequias. These, 
however, are not characteristic of any tribe or province 9 " Round towns " are found in 
ruins in the Moqui and Zuni territory. 

i These features were such as pertained to village life everywhere, for the villages in the 
Mississippi valley belonging to Mound-builders and Indians, had courts, estufas, store- 
houses, towers or look-out stations, occasionally terraced pyramids and apartments or dwell- 
ing places, clustered close together, very much as the Pueblos did. They were also sur- 
rounded by garden beds and reservoirs. 


families being the chief object. The Kiva usually adjoined the 
Pueblo, being placed in the courts. 

Among the Cliff dwellers, as we have seen, the domestic apart- 
ments, were placed high up on the cliffs, and the Kivas or assembly 
places and towers, were placed in the valley below. In the case 
of the Cave-dwellers, they were on the summit pf the Mesas, 
above the caves, but the principle was the same, still the Kiva was 
a part of the village, but was for the men. 

The store houses were always close by the domestic apart- 
ments. In the Pueblos they were in the lower story and were 
always dark, and reached through trap doors in the apart- 

In the Cavate houses the store rooms were at the side of the 
living rooms, in apartments which were excavated farther into 
the cliff, and were consequently dark and unpleasant. In the 
cliff houses the store-rooms were placed on a ledge above the 
living rooms, but sometimes were scattered along the cliffs in 
the little recesses, pockets, cubby holes, which could be found in 
the vicinity of the house. 

Another peculiarity of the ancient pueblo was that it represented 
a peculiar stage of advancement, that stage in which architecture 
began to be developed and in which the rudiments of art also 
appeared. The houses which were erected contained all the 
architectural elements, found in any modern dwelling, such 
as walls, doorways, windows, roofs, dormitories and kitch- 
ens, and in this respect would differ from the wild tribes who 
dwelt only in tents or wigwams. 1 They differed, however, from 
one another in the finish of the walls, the shape of the doors, the 
size and arrangement of the rooms, in the site chosen, and in the 
material 2 used, each district presenting pueblos," which, in these 
respects, were peculiar, but in other respects, were similar. 

1 The most common method was to erect a compact pueblo, in the valleys of the streams 
and near the fields placing the apartments close together and making the walls serve as a 
defense, there being no doors in the lower story, and the homes of the people were in the 
upper stories. 

2 The material from which the houses were built depended upon the character of the 
country surrounding, as Mr. Fewkes says, "men of the same culture would build adobe 
houses in adobe plains in tufaceous. they would burrow troglodytic caves; in the canons 
where there were extensive she'ter caves they would build Cliff-houses, while upon the rocky 
mes :S and n the mountain regions they would naturally bu'ld stone houses, taking the stone 
from the cliffs and making: the terraces to resemble those of the mesas." This would show 
that the peoole were greatly under the influence of their environments but does not refute 
the position that there were tribal lines or inherited qualities which can be recognized in the 
structures and art forms which remain. 

In reference to the pottery we might quote the testimony of Nordenskjold, Holmes and oth- 
ers as to the different kinds of pottery found in the different provinces. The black and 
white pottery is very common in the northern and western provinces and among the older 
ruins, but the red pottery is in the central pro.-inces and among the more modern pueblos. 

3 The pueblo structures were confined to the Great Plateau. AH thestructures outside of 
the bounds having a different pattern and different material, those at the north and west be- 
ing merely huts built of wood and bark ; those at the south being constructed of stone, built 
up as solid pyramids without any chambers in them, the houses and temples having been 
placed upon the summit; those at the east being mainly wigwams of bark and skin, or huts 
covered with earth, the Mound-builders houses having been erected on earth pyramids. 

Buildings made from adobe were discovered bv \V.K. Moorehead in Monarch's Cave, 
near Cotton Wood, in Utah, constructed exactly the same as those on the Gila with posts 
and wattle-work. Adobe walls appeared in some of the buildings on the Rio Grande. 


Specimens of the different styles 1 are given in the cuts: Fig I 
illustrating the location ; Fig. 2 the finish of the walls ; Fig. 3 
the shape of some of the buildings ; Fig. 4 the shape of the 
rooms ; Figs. 5-6 the shapes of the doors and windows ; Fig. 7 
the location of the estufas ; Figs. 8-9 the location of the towers 
and other buildings. 

The fashion of the doorways varied in the different provinces, 
for those on the Gila had sloping sides and narrow lintels, while 
those of the Cliff-dwellers were built in the stepped fashion, the 
sides notched, the lintels, much broader than the sills ; those on 
the Rio Grande were sometims square and sometimes stepped. 

There were courts, streets, passageways, gates, and even 
balconies, terraces and circumvallations, in nearly all of the 
villages, but the arrangement of these was dependent upon 


the character of the ground on which the building stood. As 
to the location of the villages this would be decided by circum- 

i The style represented by Casa Grande, on the Gila, is found in Casas Grandes in Chi- 
huahua, these being extreme points at which the Adobe structures are found ; the Cavate 
style is represented by the houses on the Salado on the Rio Verde and on the Rio Grande 
near Santa Clara, as well as in Sonora, in Mexico. The small house pattern is. found mainly 
among the mountains, specimens being numerous near the Rio Grande and near the Rio 
Colorado, some of them being built of stone and others of lava blocks, 

* Lieut. Rogers Birnie says of these ruins : " We found what had once been quite a town, 
with two main buildings (phratry dwellings). One of them was rectangular with a small 
court flanked on either side by two circular rooms, two at the corners, three parallel with 
the longer side of the building, the remainder ot the building divided into rectangular apart- 
ments, three stones high, a wall, quite perfect, standing in places 25 feet in height. Enter- 
ing a room in ruins it was found connected with an interior one by a doorway 4 ft. 4 in. high 
and 2 ft. and 4 in. wide, cased with nicely dressed sandstone about the size of an ordinary 
brick; the lintel was composed of small round pieces of wood, the walls were 2 ft. 5 in. thick 
marked with crosses and inscriptions. The interior room was 14 ft. by 6 ft. 4 in. In the 
center of the building was a rectangular shaft 8 ft. by 6ft. 

The other main building is about 200 yards to the west of this and about 200 feet long and 
regularly supported on the exterior by buttresses. Above the buttresses the exterior wall 
shows some very pretty architectural designs. There is seen a projecting cornice, plain, 
composed of three or four courses of very thin reddish sand-stone, and again a course of 
nearly white stone, perhaps a foot thick, then other courses of different snades and thick- 
nesses, alternate. 

The entire masonry is built of courses of different thicknesses of stone of different colors. 



There were certain necessities which must be met, but in an 
arid region like this, were difficult to provide for. As a result, 
great sagacity was exercised in the choice of the location and 
great skill in over-coming the difficulties. The villages were 
placed near springs where there was an abundant supply ot 
water and not very distant from the forests where wood could 
be obtained. 

Near the villages were fertile bottom lands or arroyas, which 
could be irrigated, the water for this being taken from the me- 
sas or from the reservoirs above, or from the streams and rivers 
below the villages ; canals or acequias were always provided for 
directing and controlling the water; garden beds sometimes took 
the place of acequias and answered the same purpose. 

There would naturally be some provision for defense as the 
people were surrounded by hostile tribes and were not always 
friendly to one another. 


It has been maintained by some that to build a separate fort- 
ress was beyond the reach of a people of this stage of advance- 
ment, but the facts are contrary to the theoty. ' 

i Bancroft states "that at Casas Gratifies, in Chihuahua, there was a fortress built <>l 
great stones as large as mill-stones. The beams of the roof were pine well worked. In the 
center was a mound for the purpose of keeping guard and watching the enemy. It w.ts lo- 
cated two leagues away, on the top of a high ciift, and was designed as a watch tower or 
central station." His account is taken from a writer in Album Mtxitane, who visited 
Casas Grandes in 1842. The ruin Cassas Grandes was located upon a finely chosen site 
commanding a broad view of the San Maguel River. The walls in some parts were ; feet 
thick and from 5 to 40 feet high, composed of sun-dried bricks. See Bancroft's Native 
Races, Vol. V, page 606. 

\Yalter J. Fewkes speaks of fortified hill-tops in the neighborhood of Red Rocks, also 
among the mountains of Arizona. 

McGee speaks of one in the Magdalena valley in Sonora, Mexico. 



There were several ways of defending the villages. One was 
to place the villages or pueblos on mesas that were difficult of 
access 1 ; another was to place them in the sides of the cliff mak- 
ing the height a source or safety ; another was to build a citadel 
in the center of the village and surround it by walls and make 
it serve as a refuge for the people in time of attack. In a few 
cases there were walled enclosures erected on the summits of 
the isolated mesas and these were used both for lookouts and 


That there were migrations among the tribes, 1 in pre-historic 

i The question of kinship may be determined by the ruins which extend along certain 
lines, for if we can show connections at both ends of a line of habitation, we may draw in- 
ferences for the intermediaries. In tuis way the Cliff-dwellings at Red Rock on the Rio 
Verde and those on the Mancos, the citadels on the Gila and on the Sonora ; the " great 
houses" at Zuni and on the San Juan, the two houses at Taos and at Quivira determined the 
tribal boundaries. 

The survivors of the Pueblo tribes were found by the Spaniards in the central districts 
But by studying their traditions we may trace their migration routes, and identify their 
stopping places, and so learn the movements which have taken place, but the differences in 
the architecture are, in all such cases, far more significant than their resemblances for they 
show the previous tribal history and the tribal wanderings. 



times, is shown by the fact that the houses built in the style pe- 
culiar to each province are tound at a distance from the center, 
the houses of the Cliff-dwellers having been found as far away 
as the Red Rock on the Rio Verde. The houses similar to 
those on the Rio Grande are found as far west as the Hoven- 

With these remarks we proceed to describe some of the speci- 
mens of ancient pueblos. 

We begin with the ruins of Casa Grande on the Rio Gila. 
These were the first visited by the Spaniards, and have recently 
been visited by American explorers, and have become well 

The following description, by Mr. J. W. Fewkes, will show 
the style of the building: 


"This venerable ruin, which is undoubtedly one of the best of its type in 
the United States, is of great interest in sheading light on the architecture 
of several of the ruined pueblos which are found in such numbers in the 
Valley of the Gila and Salt Rivers. The importance of its preservation 
from the hands of vand ils and from decay led Mr. Hemingway and others, 
of Boston, to petition Congress for an appropriation for this purpose. 3 The 
petition was favorably acted upon. The ruin now stands in the midst of 
others, towering high above th m. It is roofless, and not a stick of wood 
as large as one's arm remains in place in its walls. It is built of cubical 
adobe blocks several feet in dimensions. It did not stand alone originally, 
but there were other houses of the same massive construction near by. One 
of the best marked of these is a group of houses a few hundred feet north. 

3 The Government has made an appropriation, so that the building at Casa Grande will be 



There are also others to the north-east ; they are covered with fragments of 
pottery of ancient appearance, which show that they are on the sites of 
former buildings. At about equal distances from the four sides of the Casa 
Grande there are mounds, which indicate the existence of former walls, 
and seem to mark the edge of the pueblo, in the middle of which it once 
rose like an Acropolis or citadel. As one approaches the ruin along the 
stage road from the side towards Florence, he is impressed with the solidity 
and massive character of the walls and the great simplicity of the structure, 
architecturally considered. 

The tact that the walls of the middle chamber rise somewhat above those 
of the peripheral is evident long before one approaches the ruin ; this puts 
a certain pyramidal outline to the pile. The orientation of the ruin corre- 
sponds to the cardinal points. From the plan it will be seen that the bound- 
ing walls of the ruin enclose five chambers, which fall in two groups, twin 
chambers, one at either end, and triplets between them ; the north and 


south extend wholly across the building, their walls forming the eastern 
and the western sides of the building, the three chambers of the middle 
portion extend in a north and south direction across the whole building. 
All the chambers of both kinds have a rectangular form, and their angles, 
as a general thing, are carefully constructed right angles, though the ver- 
tical and horizontal lines are seldom perfectly straight. The north room 
occupies the whole northern end of the ruin, and has all the bounding walls 
of the lower storic s almost entire ; the greatest length of the room is from 
the east to the west. There are good evidences of at least two stories above 
the present level of the ground ; the western wall of the room is pierced by 
a single circle and a rectangular window, two openings lead from the 
chamber into adjoining rooms, one of them into the eastern chamber, the 


other into the western. The passage-way into the east room is situated on 
the second story, and is very conspicuous ; its sides slope slightly, so that 
the width of the opening is wider at the base. There is no passage-way into 
the middle chamber. The west room of the middle triplet has a rectangu- 
lar shape, its longest dimension being from north to south ; it has an 
external entrance on the west side. There are indications of former pass- 
age-ways into chambers on either side, but no passage-way into the central 

The eastern wall of this chamber is higher than the western, making the 
additional story of a central chamber. The east room, like that on the 
west, is longest in a north and south direction, and shows at least two stories 
above the present level. One can enter this room from the side, and from 
it can readily pass into the central chamber. This is in keeping with what 
is known as ceremonial enclosures. The central room was a sacred 
chamber, it probably had an entrance from the eastern room and not from 
the others ; the exterior entrance of this room is from the east, and was one 
of the principal entrances into the building, it shows well defined lintel 
marks. A wide passage-way from the second story into the north room 
occupies about a fourth part of the north wall ; the floor groove of the 
second story is pronounced. The south wall of the first story of this room 
is intact, there is a passage-way into the south room which has vertical 
jambs still well preserved, but its top has fallen in. 

The south chamber of the ruin extends, like the north, across the whole 
end. As with the northern rooms, there are openings into the western and 
eastern rooms, and no signs of an entrance into the central chamber. The 
western wall of this room is pierced by a small, square window-like open- 
ing high up in the second story. From this side of the room one can, 
without difficulty, make out two stories and the remnants of a third ; the 
line of holes in which the floor logs formerly fitted can be traced with ease. 

The central chamber differs from the others, in that it shows the wall of 
an additional story on all four sides, and has but one entrance, and this is 
from the eastern side, the walls are very smooth, and apparently carefully 
polished. There are well preserved evidences of the flooring, and the 
smaller sticks, which formerly lay upon the same, are beautifully indicated 
by rows of small holes. The walls of the third story, on the western side, 
are pierced by three circular openings, about five inches in diameter, they 
were possibly windows or possibly " look-outs." On the east wall there are 
three small round holes, on the north and south wall there are similar open- 
ings, one in each wall ; these openings are, at times, placed as high as the 
head of a person standing on the floor of the third chamber. They appear 
to be a characteristic of the central room and of the third story." 

It will be seen Irom the description and from the cuts given, 
that the style of architecture on the Gila was very different 
from that which prevailed among the pueblos of the Zunis or 
Tusayans and on the Rio Grande, and entirely different from 
that of the cliff-dwellings farther north, but resembled that 
found in the so-called "Castles " farther south, especially those 
in Sonora and in the north of Mexico; the ancient forms show- 
ing as great contrast as the modern structures. 

As to the style of architecture which prevailed in the Ciiff- 
Dwellers district, we have already shown that there was a great 
diversity of structures, but the most prominent style was that 
which is called the Cliff- Town or "Fortress" style; as proof of 
this we shall quote the discriptions given by those who have 
explored in the region. 

The following is the language of Mr. Holmes: 

The ruins of this region, like most others of the extreme west and south, 
are the remnants, in a great measure, of stone structures. 


As to situation, they may be classed very properly under three heads : 
(i), Lowlands, or Agricultural Settlements; (2), Cave Dwellings; and (3), 
Cliff-houses, or Fortresses. 

Those of the first class are chiefly on the river bottoms, in close proxim- 
ity to water, in the very midst of the most fertile lands, and located without 
reference to security or means of defence. Those of the second are in the 
vicinity of agricultural lands, but built in excavations in low-bluff faces of 
the Middle Cretaceous shales The sites are chosen also, I imagine, with 
reference to security ; while the situation of the cliff-houses is chosen with 
reference to security only. They are built high up in the steep and inac- 
cessible cliffs, and have the least possible degree of convenience to field or 

As to use, the position, for the most part, determines that. The lowland 
ruins are the remains of agricultural settlements, built and occupied much 
as similar villages and dwellings are occupied by peaceable and unmolested 
peoples of to-day. The cave-dwellers, although they may have been of the 
same tribe and contemporaneous, probably built with reference to their 
peaceable occupations as well as to defence but it is impossible to say 
whether or not they made these houses their constant dwelling-places. The 
cliff-houses could only have been used as places of refuse and defence. 

During seasons of invasion and war, families were probably sent to them 
for security, while the warriors defended their property or went forth to 
battle ; and one can readily imagine that when the hour of total defeat 
came, they served as a last resort for a disheartened and desperate people. 1 

The first group of ruins observed by Mr. Holmes was situ- 
ated on the Rio La Plata, about twenty-five miles above its 
junction with the San Juan, and five miles south of the New 
Mexican line, and was an agricultural settlement or a " strag- 
gling village." See plate. He says : 

It is, doubtless, the remains of a large, irregular village, and stands on a 
low terrace, some twenty feet above the river bed, and near the center of a 
large, fertile valley. It will be seen by reference to the plate, which in- 
cludes only the more important part of the town, that the buildings have 
been isolated, and, in a measure, independent of each other, differing in 
this respect from most of the groups of ruins farther south and west. . . . 
North of this are scattered a number of inferior ruins, the walls of which 
are not always distinctly marked. 

In the center of the ruins is the circle (c) which encloses an 

South of the large circle is a mass of ruins, covering some 15,000 square 
feet, but so much reduced that nothing further could be determined than 
the fact that it had contained a large number of irregular apartments. No- 
where about the ruins are there any indications of defensive works, and the 
village, which is scattered over an area of over two miles in circuit, has no 
natural defences whatever. 

Judging from the state of the ruins we conclude that this vil- 
lage was older than the pueblos on the Mac Elmo and at Aztec 
Springs, and much older than the towers on the Mac Elmo and 

The second group of ruins visited by Mr. Holmes contained a 
group of cave dwellings and towers, which were situated en the 
cliffs, but at a moderate height above the valley. 2 

i The arrangement of the houses in these ruins remind us of the village of Walpi among 
the Tusayans. See fig. 12, p. 263. 

-2 The testimony of most of the explorers of this region is to the effect that the ruins of 
the pueblos, built after the honey-comb pattern, were much older than the cliff-towns and 
cliff-fortresses, and that they were much more elaborate, and presented a more advanced 
type of architecture than the modern pueblos of the Zunis and Moquis. 


on the 





LJr^i r-, f in< )(? 





"I observed in approaching that a 
ruined tower stood near the brink of 
the cliff, at a point where it curves 
outward toward the river, and, study- 
ing it with my glass, detected a num- 
ber of cave-like openings in the cliff 
face about half way up. On exami- 
nation I found that they had been 
shaped by the hand of man. The 
arched openings are arched regu- 
larly above, and generally quite shal- 

The hard stratum served as a hard 
floor, and, projecting in many places, 
made a narrow platform, by which 
the inhabitants were enabled to pass 
from one house to another. It is 
probable that they were walled up in 
front, with doors and windows, though 
no fragment of the wall is preserved. 

The engraving gives a fair repre- 
sentation of the appearance of these 
dwellings and their relations to the 
rooms above. The ruins are three in 
number, one rectangular and two cir- 

The rectangular is placed over the 
more northern group of cave-dwell- 
ings. The small tower is situated on 
the brink of the cliff also, above the 
principal groups of cave-houses. 

About 150 yards to the south-west 
are the remains of another structure, 
built on a larger and grander scale, as 
the diameter of the outer wall was 
about 140 feet. That they belong to 
the community of the Cave-dwellers, 
and serve as their fortresses, council- 
chambers and places of worship, 
would seem to be natural and reason- 
able inferences. Being on the border 
of a low mesa country, the strong 
outside walls were, doubtless, found 
necessary to prevent incursions from 
that direction ; while the little com- 
munity, by means of ladders, was 
free to pass from dwelling to fortress 
without danger of molestation. (See 

A large group situated on this 
stream, about 10 miles above its 
mouth, was subsequently examined. 
In one place in particular, a pictures- 
que out-standing promontory was full 
of dwellings, literally honey-combed 
by the earth-burrowing race ; and as 
one from below views the ragged win- 
dow-pierced crags, he is unconsciously 
led to wonder if they are not the ruins 
ofsome ancient castle, behind whose 
mouldering walls are hidden the dead 
secrets of a long-forgotten people. But a nearer approach quickly dispels 
such fancies, for the windows prove to be only the doorways to shallow and 



irregular apartments, hardly sufficiently commodious for a race of pigmies. 
Neither the outer openings or the apertures are large enough to allow a 
person of large stature to pass, and one is led to suspect that these nests 
were not the dwellings proper of these people, but occasional resorts for 
women and children, and that the somewhat extensive ruins below were 
their ordinary dwelling places. On the brink of a promontory above stands 
the ruins of a tower, still twelve feet high, and similar, in most respects, to 
those already described. These ruined towers are very numerous. ' 


Mr. Holmes also discovered a group of ruins which mark the 
site of an ancient village, built after the honey-comb pattern, 
with apartments adjoining, and estufas, or circular chambers, in 
the midst of the apartments. This estufa differed from others 


which are found elsewhere, in that the central chamber was 
surrounded by a series of chambers built in the form of a circle, 
thus indicating that the estitfa in this region was used as a place 
of permanent abode. This confirms what we have said about 
the use of the towers which are so numerous in the valley of the 
San Juan, but are peculiar to the region.* He says : 

A group differing from the preceding, is situated on a low bench 
within a mile of the main McElmo, and near a dry wash that enters that 
stream from the south. It seems to have been a compact village or com- 
munity dwelling, consisting of two circular buildings and a great num- 
ber of rectangular apartments. The circular structures, or towers, have 
been built in the usual manner, of roughly-hewn stone, and rank among 
the very best specimens of this ancient architecture. The great tower is 
especially noticeable, on account of the occurrence of a third wall, as 
seen in the drawing and in the plan at a. In dimensions it is almost iden- 


tical with the great tower of the Rio Mancos. The walls are traceable 
nearly all the way round, and the space between the two outer ones, 
which is about five feet in width, contains fourteen apartments, or cells. 
The walls about one of these cells is still standing to the height of twelve 
feet, but the interior cannot be examined on account of the rubbish, which 
fills it to the top. No openings are noticeable in the circular walls, but 
doorways seem to have been made to communicate between the apart- 
ments ; one is preserved at d. 

The inner wall has not been as high or strong as the others, and has 
served simply to enclose the estufa. This tower stands back about one 
hundred feet from the edge of the mesa and near the border of the vil- 
lage. The smaller tower, b, stands forward on a point overlooking the shal- 
low gulch, it is fifteen feet in diameter; the walls are three and a half feet 
thick and five feet high on the outside. Beneath this ruin, in a little side 
gulch, are the remains of a wall twelve feet high and twenty inches thick. 
The remainder of the village is in such a state of decay as to be hardly 

* Situated on the San Juan River, abjut 35 miles below the mouth of the La Plata and 
10 miles above the Mancos. Here the vertical bluff-face is from "?5 to 45 feet in height. 

See Hayden's Survey for 1876, p. 398. See Chapter on High Houses. 


traceable among the artemisia and rubbish. The apartments number 
nearly a hundred, and seem, generally, to have been rectangular. They 
are not, however, of uniform size, and certainiy not arranged in regular 
order. . . . The site of this village can hardly have been chosen on ac- 
count of its defensive advantages, nor on account of the fertility of the 
surrounding country. The neighboring plains and mesas are as naked 
and barren as possible. The nearest water is a mile away, and during the 
drier part of the season the nearest running water is in the Rio Dolores, 
nearly fifteen miles away. To suppose an agricultural people existing 
in such a locality, with the present climate, is manifestly absurd. Yet, 
every isolated rock and bit of mesa, within a circle of miles, is strewn with 
remnants of human dwellings. 

Another very important group of ruins is located in the depres- 
sion between the Mesa Verde and the Late Mountains, and near 
the divide between the McElmo and Lower Mancos drainage. 
It was christened Aztec Springs. See plate. Mr. Holmes says of it: 


The site of the spring I found, but without the least appearance of water. 
The depression formerly occupied by it is near the centre of a large mass 
of ruins, similar to the group last described, but having a rectangular, in- 
stead of a circular, building, as the chief and central structure. This I 
have called the upper house in the plate, and a large walled enclosure, a 
little lower on the slope, I have, for the sake of distinction, called the lower 
'house. These ruins form the most imposing pile of masonry yet found in 
Colorado. The whole group covers an area of about 480,000 square feet, 
and has an average depth of from three to four feet. This would give in 
the vicinity of 1.500,000 solid feet of stone work. The stone used is chiefly 
of the fossiliferous limestone that outcrops along the base of the Mesa 
Verde, a mile or more away, and its transportation to this place has doubt- 
less been a great work for a people so totally without facilities. 

The upper house is rectangular, measures 80x100 feet, and is built with 
the cardinal points to within five degrees. The pile is from 12 to 15 feet in 
height, and its massiveness suggests an original height at least twice as 
great. ..... Two well-defined circular enclosures, or estufas. are 

situated in the midst of the southern wing of the ruin. The upper one, a, 
is on the opposite side of the spring from the great house, is 60 feet in di- 
ameter, and is surrounded by a low stone wall. West of the house is a 
small open court, which ssems to have had a gateway opening^ out to the 
west through the surrounding walls. The lower house is 200 feet in length 


by 180 in width, and its walls vary 15 degrees from the cardinal points. 
The northern wall, a, is double, and contains a row of eight apartments, 
about seven feet in width by twenty-four in length. The walls of the other 
sides are low, and seem to have served simply to enclose the great court, 
near the centre of which is a large walled depression (estufa B).* 

Mr. E. A. Barber has described the ruins at Aztec Springs and 
as well as the "Black Tower." See fig. 2, Chap. VI, p. 84. He says: 
" The Black Tower is a short distance below the ruins. A very 
ancient path, almost obliterated, leads up to the ruin. The situ- 
ation was an admirable one for over-looking the gulch. Many 
miles above and below from this point, signals could be tele- 
graphed to distant stations in times of danger, while the mini- 
ature castle itself was so sheltered by surrounding trees as to es- 
cape the notice of careless observers." 

In the vicinity of the ruins just described, and near the Utah 
border, is a peculiarly interesting cluster of fortifications. A 
mass of dark-red sandstone, a hundred feet in height, stands in 
the midst of an open plain, on the top of which the remnants of 
several walls are still visible. 

The most perfectly preserved portion ot the group is a rec- 
tangular apartment built half-way up on the northern face of the 
boulder, which has been named Battle Rock because of the le- 
gend of a great battle having been fought there. See fig. 9. 

In the immediate neighborhood of Battle Rock may be seen 
a series of diminutive cave dwellers or stone houses. Little 
hollows, scarcely exceeding six feet in diameter, were walled up 
at the mouth and occupied as dormitories, or more probably as 
magazines or caches in which provisions were stored. Scores 
of these are found through all the adjacent canons, in many in- 
stances situated hundreds of feet above the bed of the streams 
and originally approached by niched steps cut in the perpendic- 
ular cliffs, but which have been so worn away by time that they 
no longer present footholds for the adventurous climber. It we 
advance in a westerly direction, some fifteen miles to the dry 
valley of the Hovenweep, deserted canon, we discover another 
large ruined structure built on a mesa which rises to the height 
of 50 feet in the center of the valley. On this the walls of a 
fortress or community dwelling are seen, extending to a dis.tance 
of 275 feet. At some points they still remain standing, 12 feet 
in height. Many of the corners of the rooms weie neatly and 
accurately curved. 

In the plaster, the impressions ot finger tips, knuckles and 
nails are quite distinct and in some instances the delicate lines 
of the epidermis were distinctly visible. 

* Dr. J. S. Newberry visited this region in 1876, and discovered a series of ancient ruins. 
He says of it : " Like most of the ruined pueblos of New Mexico, it consisted of a series of 
small rooms clustered together like cells in a beehive. Near the principal edifice are mounds 
of stone, representing: subordinate buildings. Among these are numerous large depressions, 
marking the place of cisterns, or estufas." 1 



Mr. Barber has also spoken of the ruins of Montezuma Canon, 
which consist of stone walls, of graves, and of long, narrow 
buildings, all of them situated upon low mesas, giving signs of 
great antiquity. (See figs. 10 and u.) The walls are made of 
long, narrow stones, standing like posts in a fence, the spaces 
between filled after the usual style of masonry. The graves 
were arranged in rows and rectangles and occasionally in circles. 


We may say of all of these ruins, those on the La Plata, 
McElmo, and Montezuma Canon, that they exhibit three periods 
of occupation: the first of which was marked by peacful agri- 
cultural settlements; the second by the large community-house 
which was built in terraces and very compact for the sake of 
defense; the third by cliff-fortresses and high houses, the in- 


vasion of hostile tribes having driven the people farther and 
farther away from the valleys to the Mesas, free from assault; 
the second showing a necessity for defense, which was met by 
building the villages in one compact or great house; the last 
was fraught with so much danger that the people were obliged 
to build their houses high up in the cliffs. 


This brings us to consider the relative age of the pueblos and 
the cliff-dwellings. 

It was formerly the opinion that the Cliff-dwellers were among 
the most ancient people in America, that their history extended 
back an indefinite period into the past, and that their departure 
and final destiny are enveloped in mystery, which it is useless to 
penetrate. This opinion has been greatly modified by recent 
exploration, and the evidence now is, that so far from being the 
earliest people they belong to the last of three periods of occu- 
pation, the earliest cf which was marked by " straggling villages " 
and pueblos, which are now in ruins, the most of them being 
situated in the valleys near the water courses and irrigating 
canals, and attended with ancient picture writings or petroglyphs; 
the second by the pueblos, which are built upon the mesas, 
the third by the cliff-dwellings. All of these show that the 
people dwelt here and continued in a peaceful and an agricul- 
tural condition for many years, and perhaps centuries, but after- 
ward suffered from the attacks of wild tribes, who invaded 
their possessions, kept them constantly disturbed, and drove 
them first to the mesas and afterwards to the cliffs, as the only 
places where they could be secure. The date of this invasion is 
unknown, but the general opinion is that it was many years 
before the first visit of the Spaniards, though many changes 
took place in the population after that event. Possibly some of 
the cliff-dwellings have been occupied during the historic period, 
but if so, it was by the tribes which had long continued to besiege 
the people in their homes, and in the meantime borrowed many 
of their arts and perhaps their symbols. 

Among these tribes may be mentioned the Utes, the Apaches, 
and the Navajoes, for the latter people still occupy the region, 
and occasionally use the ruined pueblos as corals for their sheep 
and temporary homes for their families. 

It is indeed difficult to draw the distinction between the earlier 
and the later people, for the pueblos and the cliff- dwellings are 
built in the same general style, and contain similar relics and 
specimens of art, and are attended with similar pictographs and 
symbols, yet the conviction grows stronger as we examine these 
tokens in detail, that the Cliff-dwellers were later than the Pueb- 
los, though the time when they abandoned their homes in the 
cliffs and surrendered their territory to the wild tribes who now 
occupy it, is unknown. 

It is interesting to go over the region and study the struct- 
ures, and especially the pictographs, and read in them the early 
history of the people and mark the changes that came upon> 

We may say here, that the pictographs are the most interest- 
ing tokens. These have been noticed by all the explorers who 
have visited the cliff dwellings, beginning with Lieuts. Simpson? 


and Ives, who described those which are near the pueblos of the 
Zunis and including Messrs. Holmes and Jackson, who de- 
scribed those found near the cliff-dwellings of the San Juan, and 
those who have lately studied the pictographs in the shelter caves, 
all of whom hold that the cliff-dwellers had a way of recording 
events which was understood by them, but to us is obscure. 

Some of these pictographs have modern figures mingled with 
the ancient, viz., men with guns, and horses with saddles upon 
them; evidently placed there by Indians after the advent of 
the white man. The majority of them, however, have fig- 
ures and symbols, which belonged to pre-historic times, as 
a strong resemblance can be traced between them and others 
which may be found upon the rocks near the ruins on the Gila 
river.and the ancient pueblos on the Zuni and elsewhere. Among 
these pictographs are some which are very ancient. To illustrate, 
one described by W. H. Holmes represents a long line of ani- 
mals, some of which were domestic dogs, llamas and turkeys, 
the line forming a procession, as if in the act of migrating, 
though possibly they may be driven by men into the corals. In 
this pictograph is a figure resembling a reindeer and a sledge, 
conveying the idea that the person who made it was familiar 
with scenes common among the Esquimaux. Similar picto- 
graphs, representing llamas, are described by Dr. Washington 
Matthews 1 as found upon rocks in the Puerco valley. 

These pictographs represent hunters or herdsmen in the act 
of casting lassos [See plate, Fig. 19], also holding in their hand a 
peculiar four-branched instrument. One rock inscription shows a 
number of these animals with a hunter, who bears a bow in one 
hand and a line in the other. Another represents a company of 
dancers, as in front of the hunter. Still another depicts a Sola 
thrower in connection with a flock of turkeys. Knotted cords 
have been found in sacrificial caves which resemble quippus or 
the knotted cords of the Peruvians. 

There were also unearthed terra cotta images of llamas in the 
ruins of some of the ultra mural houses near Los Muertos, on 
the Rio Gila. 

The pictographs in the shelter caves and near the cliff-dwell- 
ings depict certain wild animals, such as Rocky Mountain goats, 
elks, wild turkeys, snakes, centipedes, but none of them repre- 
sent the llama or the bola throwers. These convey the impres- 
sion that a great length of time had passed between the first set- 
tlement of this region, and the time when the people were driven 
to the cliffs for safety. 

(1) Dr. Matthews says an intimate relationship exists between the builders of the ancient 
Salado temples and the ancient pueblos of Arizona and New Mexico, a relationship also 
less intimate between them and the ancient house building tribes of Old Mexico. There 
are facts which point to a close connection between this people and the ancient Peru- 
vians. It has been surmised that such animals continued to be domesticated by the seden- 
tary Indians down to historic days, but Mr. Bandolier says, if there has ever been a 
llama Guanaco or Vicuna known to the southwestern Indians it became extinct long 
previous to the sixteenth century." 

19. Rock inscription of supposed bola-thrower, dancing men, and other object* 



It is a singular fact that no image or pictograph of the buffalo 
has been found in the pueblo territory, though that animal was 
very common in the Mississippi Galley. 

Still, the procession of animals, guarded by dogs and men, 
would indicate that the custom 'of driving animals into corals or 
through game drives, was as common among hunters here as 
farther east, where buffalos and larger animals were hunted. 

The pictographs near the ancient pueblos show that they were 
occupied by people sedentary in their habits, who had domestic 
animals, and used their wool as well as cotton for their fabrics, 
and depended upon agriculture and irrigation for subsistence; 
but the pictographs of the Cliff-dwellers, on the other hand, 
would indicate that their life had become wild, and that they 
had resorted to hunting as the means of subsistence, the con- 
trast between the earlier and later periods being brought out by 
all these circumstances. 

Here, then, we have the same problems brought up by the pic- 
tographs, which we have found so formidable among the Mound- 
builders, for the appearance of extinct animals, such as the 
llamas and the elephants, suggest great antiquity and a diversity 
of origin to the people, as the llamas are animals that belong to 
the Southern continent, and not to the Northern. 

Another proof of the great difference in time, between the 
first erection of the pueblos and the resort to the c'.iff-dwellings, 
is presented by the condition of the structures themselves. 

We have shown that the pueblos in the valley of the San Juan 
were nearly all in a state of ruin. The cliff-dwellings on the 
other hand are generally well preserved. This has been explained 
by the fact that buildings in the "open" will go to ruin much faster 
than those sheltered by the "rocks," but this will not account for 
the great difference between them. 

The cliff dwellings are built on the same general plan as the 
pueblos. They have courts and streets, store houses and store 
rooms, estufas, terraced houses, balconies, look-outs and towers 
exactly as the pueblos have, and are generally near the streams 
and springs of water, but the walls are for the most part in per- 
fect condition, and the relics and remains are well preserved. 
Their walls all stand, the floors and roofs remain, the windows 
and doors retain their original shape. The towers are as sym- 
metrical and complete as when first built, and the estufas, though 
their walls are thrown down, often retain ornaments and shapes 
which they had when they were occupied. The impression 
formed by most of the visitors to the cliff-dwellings is that they 
were comparatively modern, for some of them look as if they 
had been just left, and one is led to expect that some lingering 
survivor of the denizens of the cliffs will arise to confront him 
and arrest his steps. The explorer among the ruins of the pueb- 
los on the other hand is always impressed with the sense of 


their great age, and he begins to speculate as to how many cen- 
turies have passed since they stood in their stately magnificence, 
as ornaments in the landscape, and were filled with a teeming 
multitude of agriculturists, who drew the water for irrigating the 
soil from streams near by. It is the testimony of most explorers 
that the pueblos of the ancienc or early period, were superior to 
those erected in later times in their general style and finish, num- 
ber and conveniences of their apartments, and in their surround- 
ings, indicated that the people who occupied them were then in a 
higher state of advancement than their successors, either in this 
region or in any of the pueblo territory. 

Still, after examining the ornaments, relics and pictographs one 
is convinced that the people who beat a retreat to the cliffs were 
the same as those who built the pueblos, for they show the same 
taste and skill, the same stage of advancement and the same 
religious sentiment, and the same desire to perpetuate ^the rec- 
ords by signs and symbols. The only difference is that the cliff- 
dwellings were erected by a people who had been driven from 
their permanent and peaceable homes, and compelled to build 
their houses in the deep recesses of the rocks, and make their 
villages, fortresses, the chief protection consisting in the fact that 
they were inaccessible. This would show that the pueblos, 
which we have seen, were so numerous in the valley of the San 
Juan and its tributaries, some of them situated on the mesas and 
others in the valleys, were the more ancient. Those of the 
Tusayans and Zuni were the more modern, but the cliff- dwell- 
ings were built at an intermediate date. 

The conclusion we reach, after comparing the several classes 
of ruins, is that the agricultural settlements which formerly 
filled the valleys, and which teemed with a peaceable and prosper- 
ous people, had been broken up by invading savages, but the 
people fled to the cliffs, and built their towns in these rocky fast- 
nesses, where they followed a precarious livelihood, as their 
homes were always subject to alarms. 

Many specimens of pueblos of the earlier period have been 
found on the San Juan. We add a few cuts, which perhaps repre- 
sent the structures of the same period, as they are small pueblos 
built upon the mesas, descriptions of which have been given by 
W. H. Holmes. One of these was in the Montezuma Canon. 
The ruin occupies one of the small, isolated mesas, and was 
composed of a wall made up of long blocks, which were placed 
upright, similar to those already described, but the spaces 
between the uprights were filled with smaller rocks. The second 
rujn was upon the Rio San Juan. " It was a small pueblo situated 
upon a bench about fifty feet above the river. In the center of the 
building was a court seventy five feet wide, averaging forty feet in 
depth. Back of the court was a series of seven apartments, 
arranged in a semicircle, and outside of these other larger rooms. 



Extreme massiveness is indicated throughout the whole struc- 
ture. It was also of great age." 

In contrast with these is the two-story cliff house, which has 
been described as situated on Butlers Wash. It shows the 
change from the communistic house back to the "straggling vil- 


Upon an isolated mesa 00 x 130 foet 
in dlji:.ietfcjr and 40 feet in height. 

lage," as the houses were all separate, though the same elements 
of the village were retained. This house was furnished with a 
balcony and modern looking doors. Its roof was supported by 
timbers which stretched from the outer wall to the rocks in the 


uff 50 ft. In height 
ntanlng a row oi 
mall buildings 

rear. There are many such houses in this region. They indi- 
cate that the clan life had already been broken up. 

It is probable that at one time a dense population occupied the 
valleys of all the larger streams, such as the San Juan, including 
its branches, the Animas, La Plata, Chaco, the McElmo and 



Hovenweep, and the Rio Grande and its branches, the Gila and 
its branches, including the Verde, the Salt River, Colorado 
River, including the Little Colorado and the Chiquito, for there 
are ruined pueblos scattered over this region, some of them 
"Great House Pueblos," others "Boulder Sites," and still others 
"Castles" (casas), "Cavate Houses" and " Cliff Towns." 

The most interesting pueblo of the ancient or early period is 
the one situated on the Animas River, near the little village of 
Aztec, New Mexico. This was visited by Lieut. Rogers Birnie 
in 1875, by Mr. L. H. Morgan in 1877, Mr. L. W. Gunckel in 


1892, and descriptions given by each. 1 The following is Mr. Mor- 
gan's description: 

This pueblo is one of four situated vyithin the extent of one mile, 
though there are four or rive smaller, inferior ruins within the same area. 
It was five or perhaps six stories high [See Fig. 13] and consisted of a main 
building 368 feet long, two wings 270 feet long, with a fourth structure 
made with two walls, which crossed from the end of one wing to the end of 
the other, and enclosed an open court in which was a large estufa. It was 
built in a terraced form and had its rooms arranged after the "honey- 
comb" pattern, but differed from others in that the partition walls stand 
out three or four feet like buttresses, and show that the masonry was 
articulated, and that the partition walls were continuous from front to 
rear, and the walls of the several stories rested upon each other. Every 
room in the main building was faced with stone, on the four sides, and had 
an adobe floor and wooden ceiling. Each room had two doorways and four 
openings about twelve inches square, two on each side of the doorway near 
the ceiling. The openings were for light and ventilation. The neatness 
and the general correctness of the masonry is best seen in the doorways, 
some of which measure three feet, four inches, by two feet, seven inches. 
The rooms in all cases ran across the building, from the external court to 
the exterior wall, and were connected with those below by means of trap- 

(1) For Lieut. Birnie's description see Wheeler's Survey of 1875, page 178; Morgan's 
Houses and House Life, p. 173, Fig. 40; Illustrated American, May 28, 1892, article In 
Search of a Lost Race, p, 86. 



doors and ladders, with those in front and back and at the side by door- 
ways, after the pattern in the present occupied pueblo of Taos. 

The families lived in the second and upper stories, and used the rooms 
below for storage and for granaries. Each family had two or four or six 
rooms, and those who held the upper rooms held those below. The number 
of apartments would make an aggregate of four hundred rooms. The house 
was a fortress, and also a joint tenement house of the Aboriginal American 
model, and indicated an ancient communism in living, practiced by large 
.households (or clans) formed on the principle of kin. It presented a great 
resemblance, in its general plan and the arrangement of the rooms and 
courts, and especially in the style of building the walls, with alternate 
courses of thin stone, to the ruined pueblos on Rio Chaco, about sixty miles 
distant, described by Gen. J. H. Simpson. 

Near this pueblo is another, built in two sections, with a 
space about fifteen feet wide between them, though they were 


probably connected in the upper stories and inhabited as one 
structure, the openings between them forming a passage way 
resembling that" still existing at Walpi and other Tusayan vil- 

The largest of these buildings seemed to have an open court 
in the center in the form of a parallelogram. The most remark- 
able'feature was the following: " Midway between this pueblo 
and the larger one just described, is a circular ruin 330 feet in 
circuit, which seems to have consisted or two concentric rows of 
apartments, around an enclosed estufa, built of cobble stone and 
adobe mortar, which was probably used as a council house or 
assembly place for the entire Phratry." 

" From the number and size of the houses there was probably 
a population of at least 5,000 persons at this settlement, who 


lived by horticulture. The supply of water for irrigation 1 at the 
pueblo was abundant, as the valley of the Animas River is here 
broad and beautiful and about three miles wide, the river passing 
through the center of the valley. The cliff on each side of the 
plain is bold and mountainous, rising from 1,500 to 2,000 feet 

These pueblos, newly constructed and in their best condition 
must have presented a commanding appearance. From the 
material used in their construction, from their palatial size and 
unique design, and from the cultivated gardens with which they 
were undoubtedly surrounded, they were calculated to impress 
the beholder very favorably with the degree of culture to which 
the people had attained." 

This description by L. H. Morgan is worthy of attention from 
the fact that he recognized the buildings as the abode of a phra- 
try 2 and suggests that here was a large agricultural settlement. 

It would seem from all the accounts that have been written 
that there was here a group of pueblos which resembled those on 
the Chaco river to the south, all of which are now in ruins and 
evidently very ancient. 

It is not known whether there was any confederacy, 3 but it 
seems probable that the clans or tribes who dwelt in the pueblos 
of the San Juan valley were allied, and the wonder is that they 
could have been driven off by the wild tribes. This was owing 
to the fact that each Pueblo was independent or under the direc- 
tion of a chief, but there was no organization which extended 
to the other Pueblos, or brought them under one head. This 
seems to have been the case even with the Iroquois or six tribes 
until the time that Hiawatha organized them into a confederacy. 

It would seem that the Pueblos were long beset by the wild 
tribes, lor their style of erecting buildings in terraces surround- 
ing a court, with a wall in front of the court, was well adapted 
for protection against a lurking foe. There were also provisions 
made for defense against a sudden attack, as there were lookouts 
and towers on every high point, and some of the pueblos them- 

(1) That there were irrigating canals, which could escape observation, is evident from 
a discovery which was made in 1896 by Cflpt. D. D. Gaillard, U S. A. It appears that a 
dam, five and one-half miles in length, in Grant County, New Mexico, composed of sedi- 

tion or its crest, tne tact t-nat it joins nign ground at born ends, and its location, would 
indicate that this remarkable earth work was of artificial construction ; but so gigantic 
is the work that it was taken for a natural ridge. 

(2) According to Mr. L.H.Morgan, a phratry was a brotherhood composed of related 
clans, and was caused by a separation of a tribe into two divisions for social and relig- 
ious purposes, but implies nothing concerning the existence of a confederacy. The 
phratry was without governmental functions, for these belong to the tribe, but it had 
much to do with social affairs. 

(3) Where several pueblos were situated near each other on the same stream, the people 
were of common descent, but they were not necessarily under a tribal or a confederate 
government. The tribes held religious festivals at particular seasons of the year, which 
were observed with forms of worship, dances and games. The medicine lodge, with the 
wild tribes, was the center of these observances ; but among the Pueblos it was the kiva. 
Military operations were usually left to the action of the voluntary principle. 


selves were situated on the mesas, where they could command 
extensive views of the valleys. 

"There were many signs of a prehistoric race which once lived 
and prospered in this region. On almost every prominent point 
are mounds uf debris and rudely squared stones, which mark the 
houses of the people, all in a state of a far advanced ruin, with 
but few walls remaining intact, projecting above the mounds. 
The valley, if properly irrigated, is excellent land for farming 
and orchards, though there are, at present, few signs of irrigating 

The forests are few and found only at great altitudes, but in 
the ledges and cliffs, which line and enclose the water courses, 
there were, everywhere, loose stone, lying in blocks, ready tor 
the builders' hand It was probably here that the early inhab- 
itants learned to build their dwellings of stone and that the com- 
munal houses or pueblos of stone first reached their pretentious 
dimensions. Among the most interesting of the relics which 
were left by the prehistoric people were the delicately formed 
arrow-points made from obsidian, jasper, moss-agate and flint of 
many and variegated tints and colors. Several pottery bowls, 
with red decorations, containing flint knives; one cup shaped 
bowl with a long handle, and one or two mugs with a bent han- 
dle; vases with handles on either side, bottles, jars and mortars 
were found, all of which showed that the domestic pottery was 
generally decorated There are many other pueblos in this 
vicinity which illustrate the contrast between ancient and modern 
structures. One of these has been described by Mr. Gunckel. 
It is situated upon the La Plata, about three fourths of a mile 
south of the Colorado State line, near the Reservation of the Utes. 
He says: 

" It forms one of the most prominent and imposing points, from which 
the view up and down the river is magnificent. From any point in the ruins 
one can see fifty miles or more through the fertile valley, which extends 
along the La Plata, bounded on each side by mesas. The altitude of the 
ruins is 6,100 feet above the sea level, and 125 feet above the La Plata. 

It speaks well for the ancient builders of this communistic town that 
they chose such a favorable site for their abode, as it is neaf good water, 
high above the surrounding mesas, where the scenery was magnificent and 
here an enemy could be repulsed by a mere handful of men." 

With all this they took the precaution to build a circular "watch 
tower," 100 feet above and 300 feet westward of the town, on a high sand- 
stone promontory, thus doubly insuring the safety. From this tower one 
could see the approach of an enemy for miles away. The ruins contain 
about 100 rooms, and were originally about three stories in height, but the 
rooms were filled with accumulated dirt and stones. One peculiarity of the 
ruin was a double row of walls two feet apart, running parallel to each 
othf>r, and evidently formed a passage way, or covered way, from one part 
to the other. 

One room on the west side seemed to have been used as a kiln for the 
baking of pottery. Near this was an estufa, measuring thirty-six feet 
across and of considerable depth. Several smaller estufas are situated on 
the north side of the ruin." 

At one place about fifty feet from the ruins we were surprised to note 




a square, chimney-like hole, carefully walled upon all sides. It measured 
fourteen inches across and went down fully eight feet. It was neatly faced 
with hard stone and had a stone floor. At a depth of six feet it turned and 
formed a horizontal passageway. 

This air-passage is worthy of notice because of its resemblance 
to those found among the cliff-dwellings. It shows that the 
same style of constructing their estufas prevailed among the two 
classes of people. The pueblo near which it was found was in 
about the same state of ruin as those on the Chaco and the Ani- 
mas Rivers, and resembled those in many points. The estuia, 
however, was exactly like those found among the cliff-dwellings 

farther west, and shows that the 
people fled there after a prolonged 
attack from the wild tribes. 

This leads us to a study of the 
estufas, especially those which 
are formed among the ancient 
pueblos and the cliff dwellings. 
It is in the estufa that we find 
the key to the history of the 
pueblos and a proof of the con- 
nection between the ancient and 
modern structures. 

It appears that the kiva or es- 
tufa was originally a circular 
chamber, patterned after the cir- 

cular huts ' but * changed its form 
during the time that the cliff- 
dwellings were erected, and it finally assumed the rectan- 
gular shape. 

The round shape of the estufa is most easily explained on 
the hypothesis that it is a reminiscence of the Cliff-dwellers' 
nomadic period. The construction of a cylindrical chamber 
within a block of rectangular rooms involves no small amount 
of labor. We know how obstinately primitive natives cling 
to everything connected with their religious ideas. What is 
more natural than the retention for the room where the 
religious ceremonies were perfomed, of the round shape 
characteristic of the nomadic hut ? This assumption is further 
corroborated by the situation of the hearth and the construc- 
tion of the roof of the estufa. 

Mr. Mindeleff says: "The circular kiva is a survival of 
an ancient type a survival supported by all the power of 
religious feeling and the conservatism in religious matters 


A feature which seems to have also been found at the large pueblo on the Animas 


characteristic of savage and barbarous life ; and while most 
of the modern pueblos have at the present time rectangular 
kivas, such, for example, as those at Tusayan, at Zuni, and 
at Acoma, there is no doubt that the circular form is the 
more primitive and was formerly used by some tribes which 
now have only the rectangular form, due to expediency and 
the breaking down of old traditions, was a very gradual pro- 
cess and proceeded at a different rate in different parts of the 
country. At the time of the Spanish conquest the prevailing 
form in the old province of Cibola was rectangular, although 
the circular kiva was not entirely absent ; while, on the other 
hand, in the cliff ruins of Canyon de Chelly, whose date is 
partly subsequent to the sixteenth century, the circular kiva 
is the prevailing if not the exclusive form." 

It will be noticed that the estufas which were connected 
with the ancient and ruined pueblos, both at San Juan and 
the Chaco, were all of them circular and generally placed 
inside of the area and in front of the terraces. They were 
probably used for ceremonial rites as well as for "council 

The estufas of the Cliff-dwellers were placed in front of the 
line of the houses and were generally entered from the top. 
Some of them were built in with the walls of the houses, the 
outside formed a rectangle which corresponded with the 
square rooms, but the inside was in the form of the circle ; 
the walls being divided into six spaces with ledges, resembling 
broad window sills, alternating with abutments. The open- 
ing to the air-chamber was near the floor ; the fire-place in the 
center, but was partitioned off from the air-chamber by a 
low fragmentary wall. This typical form of the estufas shows 
that the religious sentiment prevailed in its erection, and that 
it was a sacred chamber in which the four divisions of the 
sky and the zenith and nadir were symbolized. 

Among the modern pueblos the estufa was a rectangular 
room with a division in the floor; the sipapuh, or place of 
emergence, being in the lower floor. The upper floor was the 
place of assembly, on this the ladder rested which led up to 
the opening in the roof, fire-place being generally between 
the foot of the ladder and the sipapuh. In these kivas, the 
roof was also divided into stories, the upper part being 
arranged so as to lead to the open air, the whole structure 
embodying in itself the myth concerning the origin of the 
people and the four caves through which they passed before 
they reached the surface of the earth. [See Plate.] 

Thus we have three different forms of the estufa, each one 
representing a different stage of development, but all show- 


ing the same orgin and use, and embodying the same, or 
similar, myths and religious symbols, viz : The myth of 
creation and the symbol of the sky and the universe. 

As evidence of the development of the estufas from earlier 
forms, Mr. Gushing refers to certain painted marks on the 
walls of the cliff-kivas, which he thinks represent the posts 
which were planted at four equidistant points, and supported 
the large huts, or round houses, which constituted the abodes 
of the people, and correspond almost strictly to the poles of 
the primitive "medicine tent " or the "medicine earth lodge." 
In the modern square kiva of Zuni, there are still placed 
parallel marks, from the tops of the walls to the floors, every 
fourth year, which are called by the Zunis the "holders-up" 
of the doorways and roofs. 

It is not improbable that the first suggestion of enclosing the round kiva 
in a square-walled structure, and of covering the latter with a flat roof, 
arose, quite naturally, before the Cliff-dwellers descended into the plains. 

In the larger and longest occupied cliff -towns, the straight-walled houses 
grew outward, wholly around the kivas. The round kiva was not only sur- 
sounded by a square enclosure by the walls of the nearest houses, but it 
became necessary to cover it with a flat roof, in order to render continuous 
the house terrace in which it was constructed. An evidence that this was 
virtually the history, is found in the fact that to this day all the ceremonials 
performed in the great square kivas would be more appropriate in round 
structures, for the ceremonials are performed in circles, and the singers for 
dances and sacred dramas are arranged in circles. 1 

A still further evidence is found in the six niches and six pillars so char- 
acteristic of the cliff-dwellings, for in this was typified the arrangement of 
the world into six great spaces, corresponding to the "four quarters" and 
the "zenith and the nadir." The grouping of the towns of the Zunis, or of 
the wards in the towns, and of the totems in the wards, followed the same 
mythical division of the world, the ceremonial life of the people and the 
governmental arrangement having been completely systematized. 

Believing, as the Zunis do, in the arrangement of the universe and in 
the distribution of the elements according to the same "world quarters," it 
was but natural that they should have societies or secret orders who should 
dramatize their mythology and devices for symbolizing the arrangement of 
the sky and the earth, and the central space or fire in their kivas, as well 
as in their larger compact pueblos. 

Mr. Nordenskjold has referred to this point in describing 
the kivas or estufas of the Cliff-dwellers. 

"Of equal significance with this persistency of survival in 
the kiva, of the earliest cave-dwelling hut rooms, through 
successively higher stages in the development of cliff archi- 
tecture, is the trace of its growth ever outward ; for in nearly 
or quite all of the larger cliff ruins, the kivas occur along the 
fronts of the houses that are farthest out toward the mouths 
of the cavern, but some are found quite far back in the midst 
of the houses ; in every instance of this kind the kivas farthest 
back, within the cell cluster proper, not only the oldest, but 

(1) See Zuni Creation Myths, Thirteenth Annual Report of Bureau of Ethnology 
page 364. 


in other ways, plainly mark the line of original boundary or 
frontage of the entire village. In some of the largest of these 
ruins the frontage line has been extended, the houses have 
grown outward and around and past the kivas, and then, to 
accommodate increased assemblies, successively built in 
front of them, not once or twice, but in some cases as many 
as five times." 

The traditions connected with the estufas are worthy of 
notice. Mr. Bandelier says of these : 

Allusions occur in some of the traditions, suggesting that in earlier times 
one class of kiva was devoted wholly to the purposes of a ceremonial 
chamber f and was constantly occupied by a priest. An altar and fetiches 


were permanently maintained and appropriate groups of these fetiches were 
displayed from month to month, as the different priests of the sacred feasts 
succeeded each other, each new moon bringing its prescribed feast. 

Many of the kivas were built by religious societies, which still hold their 
stated observances in them, and in Oraibi several still bear the names of the 
societies using them. A society always celebrates in a particular kiva, but 
none of these kivas are now preserved exclusively for religious purposes ; 
they are all places of social resort for the men, especially during the winter, 
when they occupy themselves with the arts common among them. The 
same kiva thus serves as a temple during a sacred feast, at other times as a 
council house for the discussion of public affairs. It is also used as a work- 
shop by the industrious and as a lounging place by the idle. 

There are still traces of two classes of kiva, marked by the distinction 
that only certain ones contain the sipapuh, and in these the more important 
ceremonies are held. It is said that no sipapuh has been made recently. 
The prescribed operation is performed by the chief and the assistant priests 
or fetich keepers of the society owning the kiva. Some say the mystic lore 
pertaining to its preparation is lost and none can now be made. It is also 
said that a stone sipapuh was formerly used instead of the cotton wood plank 
now commonly seen. The use of stone for this purpose, however, is nearly 
obsolete, though the second kiva of Shupaulovi contains an example of this 
ancient form. In some of the newest kivas of Mashongnavi the plank of 
the sipapuh is pierced with a square hole, which is cut with a shoulder, the 
shoulder supporting the plug with which the orifice is closed. This is a de- 
cided innovation on the traditional form, as the orifice from which the peo- 
ple emerged, which is symbolized in the sipapuh, in described as being of 
circular form in all the versions of the Tusayan genesis myth. The presence 
of the sipapuh possibly at one time distinguished such kivas as were con- 
sidered strictly consecrated to religious observances from those that were of 
more general use. 


The designation of the curious orifice of the sipapuh as "the place from 
which the people emerged," in connection with the peculiar arrangement of 
the kiva interior, with its change of floor level, suggested to the author 
that these features might be regarded as typifying the four worlds of the 
genesis myth that has exercised such an influence on Tusayan customs; 
but no clear data on this subject were obtained by the writer, nor has Mr. 
Stephen, who is especially well equipped for such investigations, discovered 
that a definite conception exists concerning the significance of the struc- 
tural plan of this kiva. Still, from many suggestive allusions made by the 
various kiva chiefs and others, he also has been led to infer that it typifies 
the four "houses," or stages, described in their creative myths. The sipa- 
puh, with its cavity beneath the floor, is certainly regarded as indicating 
the place of beginning, the lowest house under the earth, the abode of 
Myuingwa, the Creator; the main or lower floor, represents the second 
stage; and the elevated section of the floor is made to denote the third 
stage, where animals were created. Mr. Stephen observed, at the New 
Year festivals, that animal fetiches were set in groups upon this platform. 
It is also to be noted that the ladder leading to the surface is invariably 
made of pine, and always rests upon the platform, never upon the lower 
floor; and in their traditional genesis it is stated that the people climbed 
up from the third house (stage) by a ladder of pine, and through such an 
opening as the kiva hatchway; only most of the stories indicate that the 
opening was round. The outer air is the fourth world, or that now occupied. 

Our conclusion is, then, that the history of the mysterious 
people who occupied the different parts of the pueblo terri- 
tory is recorded in the very structures which they built but 
left behind them, and as evidence may refer to the fact that 
the pueblos of the Zunis and Tusayans were constructed by 
immigrants from different directions, the diverse character 
of the buildings showing that here are gathered the sur- 
vivors from all the districts the Cave-dwellers, Cliff-dwell- 
ers, Pueblos, and all the transitional types, showing even 
their migration routes, and giving hints as to their former 
location and their diverse origin. As Mr. Gushing has said : 

There is to be found, throughout the Zuni country, ruins of the actual 
transitional type of the pueblo, formed by two ancestral branches of the 
Zunis the round town, with its cliff-like outer wall merging into the 
square, and the terraced town, with its broken and angular or straight 
outer walls; towns from the round forms into the square. This was brought 
about by a two-fold cause. When the Cliff-dwellers became the inhabitants 
of the plains, not only their towns, but their kivas, were enlarged, and it 
became difficult to roof them over with cross-laid logs; hence, in many 
cases the kiva was enclosed in a square wall, in order that the rafters par- 
allel to one another might be thrown across the top, thus making a flat 
roof similar to the terraced roof of the ordinary house structure. 

There is evidence, also, of another kind, to show that this coming to- 
gether was the chief cause of the changes referred to. The western branch 
of the Zuni ancestry, who were the people of the "Midmost," according to 
the myths, were, from the beginning, dwellers in square structures, and 
their village clusters, or pueblos, were built precisely on the plan of single 
house structures. When several of their dwelling places happened to be 
built together, they were combined, so the pueblos were simple extensions, 
mostly recti-linear, of these simple houses. 

If the intruded branch of the Zuni ancestry were, as has been assumed, 
of extreme southwestern origin, we should expect to find structural modifi- 
cations of the Cliff-dweller and the round town architecture. These ancient 
people, of the Colorado region, had attained to a high state of culture, in 
Southern Arizona and Northern Mexico; and at the time of their migra- 
tion, built houses of a different type from those among the cliffs of the North. 

Courtesy of Santa Fe Railroad. 



In continuing the description of the cliff-dwellings, and es- 
pecially of those which are situated at great heights and pro- 
vided with so many means of defense, it is very natural that we 
should give to them the name of "Cliff Fortresses." 

We use the term not so much to designate a separate class 
of structures, or to prove that there was any resemblance be- 
tween them and modern fortresses, as to show the precautions 
which the Cliff-dwellers took to protect themselves from their 
enemies. The name is appropriate when applied to those ruins 
which were situated on the San Juan, and which have been de- 
scribed by the various explorers of that region, and have been 
called the "Cliff Palace," the "Long House," "Loop-Hole Fort," 
"Balcony House," "'Sandal Cliff-House," all of which were really 
fortified villages.* 

It is also appropriate when applied to the villages which were 
situated on the summits of the high Mesas in the neighborhood 
of the Rio Grande, and which were occupied by various tribes 
when the Spaniards first visited that valley. It is especially ap- 
propriate when used in connection with the ruins which have 
been discovered on the Rio de Chelley and the Rio Verde, Wal- 
nut Canyon and the regions north of the San Francisco moun- 

It may be well, for the sake of convenience, to confine the 
name to those structures which are found on the mesas and in 
the sides of the cliffs, but have not been occupied since history 
began, the inhabitants of which are totally unknown. We call 
them fortresses because some of them were placed above pueblos 
which were situated in the valleys, and were evidently places of 
retreat for the Pueblo tribes which made their permanent homes 
in the valleys, and because they seem to have been constructed 
with the purpose of securing defense to the people who had been 

Other villages like these were visited by Mr. Louis W.Gunckel and W. K. Moorhead. They 
are situated in the various box canyons west of the McElmo. Names were given to them which 
were as fanciful as those mentioned above. Monarch's Cave, Eagle's Nest, Giant's cave, Hawk's 
NcstCave, Boulder Castle. Cold Spring Canyon, Ruins in Cottonwood Gulch, Kuins in Allen 
Canyon, Cliff House A, Cliff House B, Cliff House Nos. 6 and 7, Cliff Dwelling Nos. n, ia, 13, 
Ruin Canon they all have the same characteristics of the cliff houses or cliff builders in the Alan- 
cos Canyon, but are generally smaller and more completely rums. They are mainly situated in 
the side of the cliff and have walls to protect them from an invading enemy. In a few cases there 
are separate houses on the summits of the cliffs which have a very modern look, as they are built 
with square rooms and rectangular doors, the most of them two stories high. Those on the clitl's 
may possibly have lecn built after the advent of the white man, though this is a mere conjecture . 


driven from the pueblos to the sides ot the cliffs and remained 
there until they were driven altogether from the region. 

It has been held by a few explorers that there were no fort- 
resses among the cliff-dwellings or pueblos; that what appear 
to be such were the "summer homes" of a people who resorted to 
the valleys for the purpose of cultivating the soil, and who built 
their houses in the ledges to protect themselves from floods and 
the assaults of enemies. This opinion is not held by many, but 
as it is advanced by Mr. C. Mindeleff and other explorers con- 
nected with the Ethnological Bureau, and has been published in 
their reports, we give it here.* The following is the language: 

The study of the ruins in Canyon de Chelley has led to the conclusion 
that the cliff ruins there are generally subordinate structures, connected 
with and inhabited at the same time as a number of large home villages lo- 
cated on the canyon bottoms, and occupy much the same relation to the lat- 
ter that Moen-Kepi does to Oraibi, or that Nutria, Pescado and Ojo Cali- 
ente do to Zuni, and that they are the 'unctional analogues of the "watch 
towers" of the ban Juan and of Zuni and the brush shelters of Tusayan. In 
other words,they were horticultural outlooks occupied only during the farm- 
ing season. It might be expected that the Canyon de Chelley ruins would 
hardly come within the scheme of the classification with those found in the 
open country; for here, if any where, we should find corroboration of the 
old idea that the cliff ruins were the homes and last refuge of a race harass- 
ed by powerful enemies, driven to the construction of dwellings in inaccess- 
ible cliffs, where a last ineffectual stand was made against their foes; or the 
more recent theory that they represent an early stage in the develppment 
of Pueblo architecture, when the Pueblo builders were few in number and 
surrounded by numerous enemies. Neither of these theories are in accord 
with facts. A still later idea is that the cliff-dwellings were used as places 
of refuge by various pueblo tribes, who, when the occasion of such use was 
passed, returned to their original homes, or to others constructed like them. 
This makes plain some of the cliff ruins, but if applicable at all to those in 
de Chelley, it applies to only a small number of them. 

The same author says there are great differences in kind be- 
tween the great valley pueblos, located without reference to de- 
fense, and depending for security on the size and number of their 
population, of which Zuni and Taos are examples, and the vil- 
lages which are located on high mesas and projecting tongues ot 
rock; in other words, on defensive sites, where reliance for secu- 
rity was placed on the character of the site occupied, such as the 
Tusayan villages of to-day. 

Doubtless in the early days of Pueblo architecture, small settlements 
were the rule. Probably these settlements were located in the valleys, on 
sites most convenient for horticulture, each gens occupying its own village. 
Incursions by neighboring wild tribes or by hostile neighbors, and constant 
annoyance and loss at their hands, gradually compelled the removal of 
these little villages to sites more easily defended.and also forced the seggre- 
gation of various related gentes into one group or village. At a still later 
period the same motive compelled a further removal to even more difficult 
sites. Many villages stopped at this stage. Some were in this stage at the 
time of the Discovery; Acoma for example. Finally, whole villages, whose 
inhabitants spoke the same language, combined to found one larger vil- 

*See i6th Annual Report of Bureau of Ethnology, "The Cliff Ruins of Canyon de Chelley," 
byCosmos Mindeleff, p. 79-198. 

I ourtesy ot Santa Fc Railroad. 



lage, which depending now on size and numbers for defense, was again lo- 
cated on a site convenient for horticulture, Thtse constitute the large 
"communal houses," the distinguishing characteristics of which are as fol- 
lows: Each building consisted of an agglomeration of a great number of 
small cells.without any larger halls of particularly sttikingdimensions. All 
the buildings, except the out-houses or additions, were at least two stories 
high, and often several stories high. The lower story was entered on !v 
from the roof. A dead wall without windows was the only defense. The 
various stories receded from the bottom to the top, and were reached by 

The estufa, orkiva, often circular in form, but some times placed with- 
in square walls, the corners fillledin.making them circular inside and square 
outside, was another important element. 

The ruins of de Chelley show unmistakably several periods of occupa- 
tion extending over considerable time, and each comparatively complete. 
They fall easily into the classification suggested by Mr. G. Xordenskjold.* 

In the description given by Mr. Mindeleff the following clas- 
sification has been employed: 

1. Old villages on open Mtes. 

2. Home villages on bottom lands. 

3. Home villages located for defense. 

4. Cliff outlooks or farming shelters. 

This classification is, in the main, correct, but it would be 
better if it could be made to emphasize the fortified character of 
the third class, namely, the "home villages located for defense,"for 
these are the structures to which we give the name of "Cliff 
Fortresses." We maintain that they mark a period in the history 
of all the pueblo tribes. It was probably the same period in 
which the tribes on the Rio Grande, on the Zuni river and other 
localities in the interior were compelled to build their villages 
on the summits of the mesas, a few of which are still occupied, 
but the majority of them are in ruins. It was a period which 
preceded the advent of the Spaniards, but was subsequent to the 
incursions of the wild tribes, such as the Apaches, Comanches 
and Navajoes, the date of which cannot be determined. 

There may have been a period before the incursions of these 
tribes, and at intervals during the time of their presence, when the 
people occasionally built houses in the side of the cliffs as sum- 
mer homes. 

This may be true of certain localities which are found west 
of the Grand Canyon, in Colorado, for there are here what 
Maj. J. W. Powell calls "haciendas" or agricultural settlements. 

It may also be true of certain localities in the valleys of the 
Gila and Rio Verde, and other streams which furnish rich soils 
on their borders, but are likely to overflow the lands at certain 
seasons of the year. It was the custom of the Pueblos, who 
dwelt on the mesas, to go long distances away, and raise their 
crops. In such a case they would often build temporary houses 

Mr. Nordenskjold's classification of the ruins in the Mnncos Canyon and Mesa Verde region 
is as follows: i. Ruins in the valleys or on the plains or on the plateaus, a. Kuins in the walls of 
the canyons, subdivided as follow-;: (a) Caves inhabited without the erection of any buildings 
cave dwellings; (b) cliff-houses or buildings erected in caves. 


as their summer homes. But these houses, which were erected 
on the high points which overlooked the streams, are generally 
made with one, two, or three rooms, and are scattered here and 
there, and look like a straggling village. They served the same 
purpose as the cavate houses which are so nnmerous in the val- 
ley of the Rio Verde and are near the irrigating ditches which 
are so celebrated in these localities 

The villages on the bottom lands, and the cavate houses in 
the sides of the cliffs are not to be confounded with the perma- 
nent villages on the mesas. Nor are they to be confounded with 
the cliff-dwellings which are so numerous in the Mancos Canyon 
and the Canyon de Chelley and other places. We call these 
"cliff fortresses" to distinguish them from the high houses and 
the cliff palaces, and the ordinary pueblos. They are villages 
and have all the conveniences and necessities of the pueblo vil- 
lages, whether situated on the valleys or on the mesas. Yet the 
provisions for defense are so conspicuous and so preponderate 
over the provisions for dwelling places, that we must regard them 
as "forts" in which the defenders have gathered their families in 
order to protect them from the incursion of lurking foes. They 
may be supposed to mark a period in the history of the Pueblo 
tribes, but a period concerning which little is known. 

The history of the Cliff-dwellers is as follows: First, the 
great communistic house, built after the honey-comb pattern, 
either on the mesas or in the valleys, furnished with estufas, a 
lookout tower, and various signal stations on the heights around. 
Second, the building of the village or fortress in the sides of the 
cliffs, with the store houses in the rear instead of in the lower 
apartments, the passageways between the dwellings and the sides 
of the cliffs, with the estufas on the terraces in front, with towers 
either at the end or in the central part, and rooms furnished with 
loop-holes for shooting arrows at the assailants.* 

There was a third period in the history of the San Juan valley 
in which the people were driven from their villages, their clan 
organization was broken up, and society was disintegrated. Those 
who remained were compelled to build separate houses high up 
in the sides of the cliffs, protecting their families as best they 
could. About the only unity there was to the tribe or clan, con- 
sisted in giving the alarm when an enemy came in sight, and 
having signal stations and towers on all the high points, and cul- 
tivating the valleys in bands, whose only safety was found in 
separation and flight to the so-called "high houses." 

A fourth period was that which followed the advent of the 

*The same period was marked in other localities by building the pueblos on the summits of 
the high mesas and protecting them by dead walls around the lower stories. There were locali- 
ties in which no mesa could be reached and the people were compelled to fortify their villages by 
enclosing them in a great wall, making passage-ways between the buildings, so giving the vil- 
lage a checker-board fashion but providing a central citadel or tower which served also as a tem- 
ple, making this the last place of refuge in case of assault and disaster. 


Spaniards, in which certain tribes in the west part of the val- 
ley seem to have built separate houses and square towers on 
the edges of the cliffs. At least houses have been discovered 
and described by certain explorers which are separate from one 
another and have a very modern look. It is possible that they 
were erected after the advent of the white man, though there 
is no record of this. They have been long unoccupied, but are 
in a fair state of preservation. 

It is the middle period which most interests us, for at this 
time nearly all of the so-called fortresses were erected. These 
fortresses were not confined to the sides of the cliffs, but were 
built upon the mesas, and were the permanent villages of the 
people during the time of invasion. There may have been vil- 
lages in the valleys, built after the "great house" pattern, good 
specimens of which are still found in the valley of the Chaco, 
but the fortresses on the mesas and in the sides of the cliffs were 
also permanent villages. The summer homes were composed" 
of isolated houses which were scattered among the cliffs, or were 
built upon the slight elevations, but did not often possess the 
component parts of village architecture, such as estufas, towers, 
store houses and tanks, or reservoirs. 

The point which we make is that there were fortified villages 
or fortresses which possessed all the elements of a regular pueblo, 
and were occupied as permanent abodes, and not as a tempor- 
ary resorts. They were not mere refuges for the people in the 
time of attack, nor summer homes for an agricultural people. 
We must regard them as fortresses, or fortified villages, which 
the defenders built for the purpose of protection from the incur- 
sions of lurking foes, into which they gathered their families and 
their stores of provisions and personal possessions, making their 
inaccessibility the chief means for defense. They made them 
strongholds which they occupied permanently. They mark 
an early period in the history of the people a period con- 
cerning which scarcely anything is known. About the only 
evidence is that which is found in the peculiar style of architec- 
ture and the human remains which have been discovered. 

Some have supposed that this condition of affairs was pecu- 
liar to certain localities, and was mainly prevalent in the "swarm- 
ing place" of the Pueblo tribes, namely, the valley of the San 
Juan, but the evidence is that it was spread over the entire pueblo 
territory and that all the tribes passed through the same exper- 
ience. It is probable that the people on the San Juan and its 
tributaries bore the brunt of the attack of the enemies which 
came down upon them from the mountains of the north, and 
were compelled to take refuge in the cliffs. It would seem, how- 
ever, that there were wild tribes surrounding the entire pueblo 
territory and that they constantly beset the villages which were 
on the edges, and first compelled them to fortify their homes, 



and afterwards drove them from these outlying fortified posts 
towards the center of the territory. 

It will be understood that there were among the Cliff-dwell- 
ers and Pueblos various methods of defending their villages, each 
one of which was adapted to the particular region in which they 
were placed. These may be classified as follows: 

I. In the region where the Cave-dwellers had their homes the 
main dependence was upon the "lookout," or, in other words 
upon the view furnished from their homes in the cliffs. 

There are many specimens of this kind of fortress, some of 
which may be found on the summits of the San Francisco moun- 
tains and in the midst of the craters of the extinct volcanoes. 


Others are found in the midst of the Potreros and high isolated 
mesas which are situated in the valley of the Rio Grande The 
best example of this class will be found in the two isolated buttes 
or mesas which ate called Shufinne and Puye. The following is 
Mr. Bandelier's description of these: 

The Shufinne contains a complete cave village, burrowed out of the 
soft rock by the aid of stone implements. The other specimen of artificial 
cave-dwellings is separated from it by a distance of only three miles. Here 
is quite a large pueblo ruin, two stories high, that crowns the top of the 
cliff, but at Shufinne the buildings lie at the base of the cliff which looms 
up conspicuously like a bold white castle. There are scattered groups of 
caves near by, some of which extend at intervals on a line nearly a mile 
long, and in some places beams protrude from the rock, showing that houses 
had been built against it along side the cave dwellings. 

As lookout places both cliffs are magnificently situated, commanding 
in every direction a superb view. The Rio Grande valley is visible from 
north of San Juan to San Ildefonso, and from Santa Clara to the gorges 



of Chimago. The whole eastern chain stretches out in the distance from 
Taos to its most southerly spurs below Santa Fe. In case of imminent 
danger the inhabitants of one rock could signal to those of the other, night 
or day, as there was nothing to obstruct the view. The ascent to the caves 
is tedious, for the slope is steep and it is tiresome to clamber over the frag- 
ments of pumice and tula that cover it. Once above, we find ourselves be- 
fore small doorways, both low and narrow, a single door which sometimes 
serves as an entrance to a group of as many as three cells, connected by 
short, narrow and low tunnels, large enough for a small person to squeeze 
through. There were little air-holes, or possibly loop holes, in the outer 
walls but no fire places, although the evidences of fire are plain in almost 
every room. 

Every feature of a pueblo household is found in connection with these 
caves. As defensive positions they were free from danger from assault by 
an Indian force. Only an ambush prepared under a cover of darkness 
could injure those who had descended from their lofty abodes, in order to 


fetch water or till the fields. Nevertheless, constant harassing might at 
last compel the inhabitants to abandon even such impregnable positions.* 
Cave villages of this kind are quite numerous, occupying an area of about 
300 square miles. 

West of the Rio Grande, in the vicinity of the Rito de Los r rijoles, 
there are deep canyons which traverse the country like gashes several 
hundred feet in depth. In the cliffs of this romantic valley the largest and 
best preserved cave villages are to be seen, capable of accommodating 
1,500 people.* 

Wherever the caves stand without pueblo ruins in their immediate 
vicinity, they show almost exclusively the old, old kinds of potsherds the 
black and white, or gray, and corrugated. This would seem to indicate that 
the artifical caves and the small houses belong to one and the same period, 
-anterior to that of the construction of the many storied pueblos.t 

See Final Report of Investigations among Indians of S.W. U.S. Part II, p. 74- 
fSee Ibid, p. 160. 


Cave villages of this kind have been described by Mr. C. F. 
Lummis, as situated among the "Potreros," and in the deep 
canyons just west of the Rio Grande; and attention is called to 
the remarkable stone idols, or effigies, which are supposed to be 
the totems of this people. 

One of the best specimens of a fortress situated so as to com- 
mand an extensive view is the one which is represented in the 
cut which has been kindly furnished by Mr. C. A. Higgins, of 
the Santa Fe railroad, who describes it as follows : 

Nine miles from Flagstaff, and only half a mile from the stage road 
to the Grand canyon, cave buildings are to be seen, whose slopes are buried 
deep in black and red cinder. The caves, so-called, were the vent-holes 
of the volcano in the time of the eruptions of lava and ashes that have so 
plentifully covered the region for many miles about. Countless ragged 
caverns, opening directly under feet and leading by murky windings into 
unknown depths in the earth's crust. Many are simple pot-holes a few 
yards in depth, then subterranean leads, choked up and concealed. Others 
yawn black, like burrows of huge beasts of prey. In many instances they 
are surrounded by loose stone walls, part of which are standiug just as 
when their singular inhabitants peered through the crevices at an approach- 
ing foe. Broken pottery abounds scattered in small fragments, like a 
talus, to the very foot of the hill, The pottery is similar to that found in 
the cliff-dwellings. It is probable the Cave-dwellers and the Cliff-dwellers 
were the same people. The coarser vessels are simply glazed or roughly 
corrugated; the smaller ones are decorated by regular indentations in imi- 
tation of the scales of the rattlesnake, or painted in black and white geo- 
metric designs. 

II. The commonest form of defense was to place the village or 
"great house" upon a high and isolated mesa, and make the situ- 
ation itself the source of security, but even in such cases there 
were special provisions for defense in the arrangement of the 
rooms above the terraces, leaving the lower story without any 

This was the peculiarity which the Spaniards noticed* in all 
the pueblos, though some of them were more difficult to ap- 
proach than others. Taos, Laguna, Acoma, San Domingo, all of 
them located in the eastern part ol the pueblo territory, in the 
valley of the Rio Grande, occupied such isolated positions that 
the Spaniards found it difficult to conquer them, and some of 
them they never did wholly conquer. 

The early American explorers were impressed with the de- 

*The story of Coronado's march was told by four persons who took part in itj Mendo/a, 
Jerramillo and an anonymous writer and Castanedo. The following quotations will show the 
impressions formed: 

"Acuco was discovered by Alvarado in 1540, who described it as "situated on a precipitous, 
cliff so high that an arquebus ball could scarcely reach the top." "Situated on the top, the only 
approach was by an artific al stairway cut in the rock of nearly 300 steps, and for the last 18 feet 
only holes into which to insert the toes." "Three days farther west brought them to Tiguex, con- 
taining 12 villages, and situated on the banks of a river." Continuing his journey five days more 
he reached Cicuys, "which he found to be a strongly fortified village, and consisted of four story 
terraced houses built around a long square. It was also protected by a low stone wall and was 
capable of putting 500 men into the field. "Coronado and his troops also reached this rock. 
They climbed the heights of Acuco with great difficulty, but the native women accomplished it 
with ease. At the end of the first day's march from Acoma they rested, where was "the fairest 
town in a!l the province, in which were private houses seven stories high." Probably Laguna. 


fensive character of these isolated villages, and have often de- 
scribed them * 

An excellent summary of the various fortifications, or fortified 
villages, which may be found in the pueblo territory, has been 
given by Mr. A. H. Bell, an English gentleman, who accompany- 
ing the surveyors of the Southern Pacific railroad, afterwards 
wrote a book entitled "New Tracks in North America." In this 
book he furnishes a description of the country and its topogra- 
phy, giving the elevation of the mountain peaks.f the amount of 
territory drained by the different rivers,! the barriers|| which 
separate the different river valleys, the pueblos in this region and 
the population of each. He also quotes from Prof. J. S. New- 
berry, who accompanied one of the earliest exploring parties, 
that of Captain McComb, and who described the pueblos which 
he visited. 

The ruins described by Mr. Bell were situated in the differ- 
ent districts, namely: on the Rio Grande and its tributaries; on 
the plateau where the Zuni and Tusayan tribes still live; on the 
Rio Verde and Little Colorado north of the San Francisco moun- 
tains; in the valley of the Gila and its tributaries; and, lastly, in 
Sonora, where are the ruins of the Casas Grandes. We give his 
descriptions of the first three or four localities, and leave the 
fortress of Sonora for another time. 

The isolated pueblos which lie at a considerable distance from the 
main valley of the Rio Grande are very different in appearance from the 
simple one story buildings which are occupied by the natives. Laguna is 
built on the summit of a cliff some forty feet high, and possesses several 
natural advantages for defense. Acoma is a large village on the summit of 

The following are the American writers and the dates of their publications 

Gallatin contributed to the transactions of the American Ethnological* Society [Vol. II,p. in, 

description of the ruins in Chaco valley, also in the Rio deChelly, and of the inhabited pueblos of 
the Zunis. Lieut. A. W. Whipple and W. W. Turner published, in the reports of the Pacific rail- 

fFremont's Peak, 13,570 feet; Long's Peak, 13,575 feet; Mt. Lincoln, 17,000 feet; Santa Fe, 
6,846 feet; Albuquerque, 5,0336501. 

IThe square miles embraced in the Columbia river valley, 230,000; the Colorado river, 200,000 
the Rio Grande, 210,000; the Great Basin, 282,000; the Mississippi river, 1,400,000. 

||The country from the Gila eastward rises step by step and mesa upon mesa. Upon the edges 
of several of the mesas may be found interesting fortified towns. In the interval between Fort 
Defiance and the Rio Grande rises Mount Taylor which, like San Francisco moun- 
tain, has broken through the sedimentary strata and poured over them floods of lava, which are 
as fresh as if ejected yesterday. Between the headwaters of the Rio Gila and Colorado CtuqnitO 
s a very elevated tract known as the "mogollon escarpment." 



a flat mesa, whose perpendicular cliffs rise to the height of from 300 to 400 
feet. The ancient pueblo Taos consists of a compact fortress formed of 
terraces, seven stories high, and built on a rock overlooking a stream. 

Venegas, Coronado, and all the early Spanish explorers in New Mexico, 
have described a number of many storied fortresses which are now no 
more.* Those mentioned with the exception of Zuni and the seven Moqui 
villages, are the only native fortresses which now remain. 

Pecos was a fortified own of several stories. It was built upon the 
summit of a mesa which jutted out into the valley of the stream, and over- 
looked the valley for many miles. The Spaniards lived there until the 

middle of the last century. A few natives re- 
mained and kept alive the sacred fires in the 
estufas. The wild Indians of the mountains 
finally attacked the place and left Pecos deso- 

There are many ruins situated northeast 
from San Francisco mountain, located on the 
summit of the mesas. They are mostly three 
stories high with a court common to the whole 
community forming the center. The first story 
or basement consists of a stone wall fifteen feet 
high, the top of which forms a landing, and a 
flight of stone steps leads from the first to the second story. 

Further to the northwest, and nearer to Colorado, is a group of pueblos 
larger than those of the Moquis, but situated like them on the flat summits 
of mesas but containing estufas, reservoirs ; aqueducts, terraces and walls 

*The ruins maybe classed under three heads: 
i. Ruins of many storied strongholds. 
2. Ruins, the foundations of which only remain. 
3. Ruins of buildings constructed under Spanish rule, 

Under the tirst class, which are east of the Rio Grande, there are four'ruined villages]which 
were fortified. 


of buildings at 'east four stories high. No traces have been found of the 
former inhabitants. At Puehlo Creek are the remains of several fortified 
pueblos, crowning the heights which command Aztec pass. 

The ruins on the Rio Verde are worthy of notice. The river banks 
were covered by ruins of stone houses and regular fortifications which do 
not appear to have been inhabited for centuries. 

In this connection it may be well to recall the villages which 
were situated on the Rio Grande, and which belonged to the same 
system with those which have been described, but have so long 
been unoccupied, that they have been called by Mr. C. F. 
Lummis, the cities that were forgotten. 


These seem to have been fortified towns. They are called 
by the general name of Gran Quivira. They were occupied by 
the Spanish missionaries but were finally overthrown by the sav- 
ages and are now in ruins. 

Near Quivira Mr. Bandelier discovered a bold eminence 
which bears the remains of a pueblo in which the rooms were 
disposed in a circle around the top of the hill and two estufas, 
and not far from the village an artificial pond. He says: 

What could have induced the Indians to settle and remain in a region 
where they had to forego the great convenience of a natural water supply? 
It was the result of being driven back from other points. The ruins on the 
Madano were all provided with artificial reservoirs. This was not a device 
peculiar to Quivira, but one that was generally adopted by the Pueblo In- 
dians of that region. All over this arid region the villages relied upon such 
contrivances i.s they do to-day at Acoma. Every pueblo on the Madano 
stands so as to be easily defended and to afford excellent lookouts. 

They are all specimens of that peculiar kind of Indian defensive posi- 


tions in which the absence of obstacles to a wide range of view becomes a 
main element of security. The roving Indian seldom could have taken a 
pueblo by surprise, still less by direct assault against both the villages on 
the Medano. The villages were almost impregnable. Against persistent 
attacks on a small scale the sedentary Indian could not long hold out. 

The same kind of fortressses is common in the region around 
Zuni, though the most of them are in ruins. There are two 
pueblos on the summit ot "Inscription Rock." The Zunis claim 
that they were their villages but were abandoned previous to the 
appearance of the Spaniards. 

General Simpson has furnished apian and description of one 
ot these ruins. He says : 

These ruins presented in plan a rectangle of 206 by 307 feet, the sides 
corresponding to the four cardinal points. The apartments seem to have 
been chiefly upon the contour of the rectangle, though the heaps of rubbish 
within the court show that there had been here some also. The style of the 
masonry, though resembling that of the pueblos of Chaco, is far inferior in 
beauty of its details. 

About 300 yards distant, a deep canyon intervening on the summit of the 
same massive rock, upon which the inscriptions are found, we could see 
another ruined pueblo, in plan and size similar to that I have just described. 
The situation of the ruins is a good one for defense and for observation, 
since they are pejched on a plateau over 200 feet in height, the sides of 
which are everywhere steep and absolutely vertical on the north and nearly 
so on the east.* 

There are ruins upon the summit of Thunder mountain 
called To-yo-a-lan-a, which rises 900 feet above the plain, in 
precipitous crags. Ascent is possible on four trails only, the 
most of which are of frightful dizziness. The mesa is four 
miles long and from one to two miles wide. The top is partly 
covered with low woods. There is tillable soil and permanent 
water in tanks, so that it could furnish room and subsistence 
for a moderate Indian population. The ruins mark the sites 
of six small villages. They date from the year 1680 and 1692, 
and were erected during the absence of the Spaniards when the 
Navajos threatened to destroy the tribe. Sacrificial caves, in 
actual use, are quite numerous, and hosts of legends and folk- 
tales cluster around the towering table-rock. The village, 
which was first seen by Coronado and which he had to take by 
storm, was called "Ahacus" by Fray Marcos, and is now called 
"Hauicu." It is an elongated polygon on a rocky promontory, 
overlooking the plains that stretch out on the south side of the 
Zuni river and about fifteen miles southwest from the present 
Zuni. The polygonal shape was a favorite one in the Zuni 

Mr. Bandelier speaks of many ruins of this type: 

It implies a circumvallation of polygonal shape with one or more gate- 
ways. The circumvallation forms a building with a number of cells, the en- 
trances to which were from the inside, while the outer front was prob- 
ably perforated only with loop-holes. This polygonal house enclosed an 

*See Journal of Military Reconnoisance,i85o, p. 221. Also Bandolier's Final Report, Part II 
p. 29. 


open space containing estufas, and sometimes a cluster of other buildings, 
so that the whole consists of a central group surrounded by a ring of many 
storied edifices which form a defensive wall. The prevalence of the poly- 
gonal pueblo in the Zuni country must therefore be ascribed to other than 
physical influences, and it seems as if a protracted state of insecurity might 
be the cause of it. 

Mr. Higgins also speaks of ruins on the summits of isolated 
mesas, and illustrates them by two very striking engravings. 

At several points upon the rim of the Grand canyon the razed walls of 
ancient stone dwellings may be seen. They are situated upon the verge of 
the precipice, in one instance crowning an outstanding tower that is connect- 
ed with the main wall by only a narrow saddle, and protected on every 
other hand by the perpendicular depths of the canyon. The world does 
not contain another fortress so triumphantly invulnerable to primitive war- 
fare, nor a dwelling place that can equal it in sublimity. It would be found 
upon one of the salients of Point Moran. 

Scattered southward over the plateau other ruins of similar character 
have been found. Perfect specimens of pottery and other domestic uten- 
sils have been exhumed. 

The most famous group and the largest aggregation is found in Walnut 
canyon, eight miles southeast from Flagstaff.* This canyon is several hun- 
dred feet deep and some three miles long, with steep terraced walls of lime- 
stone. Along the shelving terraces under beetling projections of the strata. 
are scores of these quaint abodes. The larger are divided into four or five 
compartments by cemented walls, many parts of which are still intact. It 
is believed that these ancient people customarily dwelt upon the plateau 
above, retiring to their fortifications when attacked by an enemy. 

Inferentially these mysterious people, like the Cliff-dwellers, were of 
the same stock as the Pueblo Indians of our day. How long ago they 
dwelt here cannot be surmised, save roughly, by the appearance of extreme 
age that characterize many of the ruins, and absence of the strange native 
traditions concerning them. Their age has been estimated at from 600 to 
800 years. 

III. Another method of defense was one which consisted in 
the erection of towers or citadels, some of which were square, 
others round. Mr. Lummis has described a "rectangular 
house" situated southwest of the Chaco group, called Pueblo 
Alto. It measured some 200 feet long from north to south 
and 100 feet from east to west. He says: 

The walls on the west side are said to be still thirty, forty and forty-five 
feet high. Just in the center of this side is the distinctive wonder of the 
whole pueblo a great tower, square outside, round within, with portions of 
its fifth story still standing. The walls still hold the crumbling ends of the 
beams to the successive stories, and the loop-holes in the two lower stories 
are plainly visible. There are at present no traces of water in the vicinity, 
but the pottery seems to be of the same kind as that found in the Chaco 

These ruins are near the extinct volcano called San Mateo, 
or Mt. Taylor, the summit of which is 11,391 ^ eL '^ high. The 
valley of the San Mateo is a narrow basin along the wooded 
northern slopes of the Sierras; bare hills extend to the north of 

These engravings were drawn by Thomas Moran, who, perhaps, sacrificed strict scientific 
accuracy to his artistic taste. They represent the scenery vividly, but the picture of Walnut can- 
yon differs somewhat from the photographs which have been taken. 

fSee Bandelier's Final Report II. 



it, and to the east lies a bleak pass. The soil at San Mateo is 
fertile. Woods near at hand and a diminutive creek furnishes 
the water supply. Mr. Lummis speaks of the beauty of the 
pottery and the originality of decoration. There were bowls of 
indented pottery, one-half of the interior smooth and hand- 
somely painted, covered with combinations of well-known sym- 
bols of Pueblo Indian worship, Shell beads, stone axes, me- 
tates and arrow heads were numerous. 

In this region, a few miles north of McCarthy's, rises an 
elliptical mesa called the ''Mesita Redonda." Its height is 
113 feet. The rock is sandstone, its top flat. It measures 76 
metres by 45 metres. On the summit is a structure consisting 

of nineteen regular rec- 

tangular cells, built on 

three sides around what 
may have been a circu- 
lar watch tower, the di- 
ameter of which is nearly 
30 feet. 

Extensive ruins are 
found below, also pottery 
of the ancient red and 
black type. All appear- 
ances iavorthe presump- 
tion that the remains on 
the top of the little butte 
and the more extensive 
ones at its foot formed 
but one settlement. It 
may be that the circuler 
edifice was a watch towerj 
or it may have been the 
estufa belonging to the 
people who occupied the 
19 cells built around it. 

The Mesita afforded an 
excellent point for obser- 
vation and a place of ref- 
uge in case of dire neces- 
sity. Below there is at 
least one estufa, and also 
a large round depression, 

41 feet in diameter, which may have been a tank. It was an 
exceedingly favorable spot for an aboriginal settlement, for 
there was water near by and wood, and the soil was fertile. 

Other towers which were used for lookouts as well as for 
fortresses are numerous. Mr. Bandelier says of them: 

The frequency of round or circular structures have often been noticed 
by investigators. The interior is formed bv a circular room and around this 


This Tower has been described by W. H. Holmes. See Chapter VI, p. 91. 


is built a ring divided transversely by a number of cells. While the ordi- 
nary round-towers occur almost everywhere over the pueblo area, this 
more complex structure seems to be a leature peculiar to the extreme 
northwest of New Mexico and the adjoining sections of Colorado and 

Cliff houses and round-towers exist northwest of Fort Wingate. Two 
story watch-toweis, of stone, were discovered in the vicinity of Zuni which 
were square instead of round. A stone staircase, built outside from the 
ground, leading to a small doorway in the upper story, characterized the 
"Round-towers." Some of those at Fort Wingate had the walls built in 
steps and terraces, receding from below upwards like the stories of pueblo 
houses. Transverse beams supported the free ends of a number of poles 
like spokes of a wheel, resting loose on the axle, the other ends were im- 
bedea in the walls and the poles supported the usual layers of brush and 
earth, or making circular balconies. Such tower-like constructions are not 
always to be looked upon as strictly military. The square towers around 
Zuni are built for guarding the crops and not for the use of a small garrison. 
Nevertheless every one or the small buildings had contiguous to it a circu- 
lar depression which the Navajos say was a tank. One of these had six- 
teen cells. 

Not only were the towers near the enclosures but within the 
enclosures themselves, and often formed citadels. This is es- 
pecially true of pueblos built in a checker-board pattern of ir- 
regularly alternating houses and courts. There are striking re- 
semblances between these citadels, which form so prominent a 
feature in the walled towns of the far west, and those which 
are so common in the ancient "walled towns" of oriental and 
bible lands. There is also considerable likeness between the 
structures upon the mesas and the old "castles" which in feudal 
times crowned the summit of the hills and mountains in central 

These pueblos are virtually closed on all sides, either by the walls of 
houses or by separate walls; they are very defensible, as there are but one 
or two entrances, and these either by a narrow passage between two build- 
ings or a narrower one with re-entering angles between two court walls. 

Each village contains one or more open spaces of large size, but they 
are irregularly located, the tendency being to cut up the whole plat into as 
manysmall squares as possible. 

In addition to the court yards connected with these edifices, there are 
frequently enclosed spaces on the slope, which would not permit of the 
erection of buildings. These were probably garden beds, and were placed 
near the dwellings as a measure of precaution in time of danger. They 
wf re above the line of irrigation by the arroyas, but the remains of acequias 
in the bottoms prove that these were used for cultivation. They were with- 
out defense. 

The type of village which includes a larger and more substantial struc- 
ture grows more conspicuous as we ascend the course of Tonto creek; the 
checker-board-village-type is quite plain. A fine specimen of the kind is 
noticed at San Carlos, Wheat Fields, and Armours. A quadrangular wall 
8K feet thick surrounds the central mound and the space thus enclosed is 
connected with the main -tructure by walls of stone dividing it into squares 
and rectangles. It is still the checker-board-type; but the dwellings have 
mostly been consolidated into one central mass, from which enclosures 
diverge towards the circumvallation. Every village contained a larger and 
higher eminence, sometimes in the center and sometimes at the side. 

There are indications in some places that the house was 

fSe Holmes report in Hayden's Survey in 1876, p. 388, and plates; also Morgan's "Houses 
and House Life," p. 191; alto the chapter on/'High Houses and Ruined Towers.'' 


erected on an artificial platform, but the central building can 
not compare with the communal house. The ruins around 
Fort McDowell and Fort Reno are of this type. Remains of 
irrigating ditches are quite common some of them as long as 
twenty miles. The width of the acequia is about two feet, and 
the depth about two feet. In addition to these canals, artific- 
ial tanks begin to appear. They are elliptical and the rim is 
formed of stones, or by an embankment of earth of consider- 
able thickness. They run mostly parallel to the streams, but 
transverse acequias have also been discovered. I always found 
the tanks in the vicinity of ruins, and more or less distinctly 
connected with ancient canals. 

Mr. Gushing says of these canals in the Salado and Gila 

They were found varying in length from ten to eighty miles, and in 
width from ten to eighty feet. Each canal, whether large or small, was 
found on excavation to have been terraced, that is the banks of dirt thrown 
out had formed a greater canal containing a lesser, which in turn contained 
another. They were so filled up and leveled in the course of centuries, that 
they were scarcely traceable. 

Among the Pueblo Indians such works are communal enter- 
prises carried on by all the men of the village, and performed 
at stated times. The villages situated on the same irrigating 
ditch used the same acequia and were contiguous, yet they 
were independent of each other for a long time. There was 
no evidence of a confederacy. 

In connection with this class of fortresses, the Great Houses 
on the Gila, and Salado and Sonora, are to be mentioned again. 
Father Ribas, the historiographer of Sonora, says that the vil- 
lages consisted of solid houses made of large adobes, and that 
each village had, beside a large edifice, stronger, and provided 
with loop-holes, which served in case of attack, as a refuge or 
citadel. Such a place of retreat, the Casa Grande and analog- 
ous constructions in Arizona, seem to have been. The strength 
of the walls, the openings in them, their cummanding position 
and height, favor the suggestion. 

A wall of circumvallation to these villages shows that the 
enclosure and central area was a fortress. 

Mr. Gushing claims that the central building was a temple. 
He speaks also of "pyral mounds" where had been buried a 
certain class of the dead of these cities, together with their 
numerous funeral sacrifices. Usually at the southern and west- 
ern bases of these mounds were found great cemeteries con- 
taining from twenty to two, three, and even four hundred 
incinerary urns. 

The same excavation which revealed these features of a pyral mound 
also revealed the contiguous enclosing wall of what proved to be typical, 
very extensive, many-roomed dwellings. Not only from the discovery of 
totemic devices and forms of pottery, of which each one of these great 
blocks of dwellings contained always a distinguishing few, but also from 
the fact that each had outside of its enclosing wall, its own pyral mound, its 


great underground communal oven, and its still greater reservoir, fed by a 
special branch of the larger city viaducts or canals, it was inferable that 
each was the abiding place of a particular clan or gens. 

First in the temples, in what remained of the second and third stories, 
afterwards in the enclosed communal buildings, we found sepulchres. 
Those in the temples were built of adobe, shaped like sarcophagi. These 
in turn had been carefully walled in and plastered over, in order that the 
living rooms that contained them might still be occupied. 

The best specimens of a Cliff Fortress is the one which is 
called Montezuma Castle. It was first discovered by Dr. VV. 
F. Hoffman in 1876, but afterward was visited and described 
by Dr. E. A. Mearns 

It contained all the elements of a permanent "home village" 
or pueblo, and of a cliff fortress. Its position is almost inac- 
cessible, but its manner of construction, especially the arrange- 
ment for reaching the upper stories, gave it unparalleled 
security. Its upper stories were furnished with battlements, 
showing that it was intended to be a fortress, and the details 
of its construction illustrate the skill and sagacity with which 
the Cliff-dwellers erected their fortresses.* 

Mr. Hoffman calls it an imposing "cliff fortress." The fol- 
lowing are his words: 

I say ''fortress" from the fact that all the cliff-dwellings from this 
localilty upward, along the stream to Montezuma wells, contain but a single 
room, the dimensions of which vary from four to eight feet square.and from 
three to five feet high, and appear like swallow nests instead of habitations. 
The fortress is about 35 feet in height, each story receding several feet. 
The horizontal length of the front wall is about 50 feet, the walls being 
built nearly out to the face of the escarpment. There is a square tower in 
the middle front of the lower wall, through which I found the only means of 

The roof of the second story forms a floor for a sort of parapet 4 feet 
high. Through this are several port-holes 3 or 4 inches square, on the in- 
ner side and over a foot on the outer side, through which arrows could have 
been very easily fired. Back of the parapet is a small opening leading into 
the rocks, which appears as if it might have been used as a store-room for 

The door or opening, partially visible in the upper postern wall, is the 
one leading to the supposed hearth and store-room. Two rafters protrude 
from the middle of the wall, which evidently served as a partial hold, or 
support. The lintels over the doorways are generally of cedar, and are in 
as substantial a condition as when first placed there. The stones compos- 
ing the wall are neatly and closely laid and fitted, and actually cemented 
together with mortar. The place has become more accessible by the 
breaking away of the rocks than it was when regularly occupied, when rope 
ladders were probably in use. 

The description by Dr. Mearnscorresponds to that given by 
Dr. Hoffman, but furnishes some additional facts. It is as 

Of the cliff fortresses, as distinguished from the pueblos, many excel- 

See Hayden's Report for 1876, p. 477. 

fMr. Holmes speaks of towers on the San Juan, which furnisned the meant of access to the 

fCliff-Dwellings on the Rio Verde," by Edgar A. Mear> surgeon U.S.A. Popular Science 
Monthly, 1890, p. 744. 


lent examples are found in the verde region. One, in which I was the firs 
white man to set foot, is built on the right wall of a deep canyon, between 
Hackberry Flat and the Rio Verde. The building known as "Montezuma 
Castle," on the right bank of Beaver creek, in sight of and three miles 
from Fort Verde, is the finest and is typical of its class. 

This castle, doubtless a "fortress," is fitted into a natural depression, 
high up in a vertical limestone cliff, the base of which is 340 feet from the 
edge of the stream and about 40 feet above it. The casa, or fortress, is 
accessible only by means of ladders, its lowest foundation being 40 feet 
from the bottom of the cliff. After ascending three of these, a ledge is 
reached, upon which six cave-rooms open. On a ledge below this one, 
and 80 feet to the northeast, are two cave-dwellings neatly walled up in 
front, with a well-made window in each for entrance. One or two isolated 
chambers, walled in front and windowed, may be seen in the side of the 
cliff, where they are altogether inaccessible. These together constituted 
the settlement, or home village. 

Ascending a fourth ladder, the "fortress" is reached. The foundation 
rests upon cedar timbers, laid longitudinally upon flat stones on the ledge. 
The projecting ends of these timbers show plainly the marks of stone axes, 
used in cutting them. The front wall is a little over two feet thick at the 
bottom and 13 inches at the top. The timbers are so placed that at the 
middle they project over the edge of the ledge. The fortress is entered at 
a projecting angle, through a window of sub-gothic form, measuring 3 feet 
3 inches in height and 2 feet 4 inches wide at the bottom. The apartment 
is smoothly plastered within. The plastering shows the marks of the 
thumb and fingers and hand. 

The roof is formed by willows laid horizontally across eleven rafters of 
ash and black alder; upon this a thick layer of reeds placed transversely, 
the whole plastered on top with mortar, forming the floor to the chamber 
above. The only means of entering the seventeen apartments above this 
room is a small hole in the ceiling, just within the entrance, measuriug 13 
by 18 inches, bordered by flat stones laid upon the reed layer of the roof. 
These stones are worn smooth by the hands of the Cliff-dwellers, in pass- 
ing two and fro. There is a store-room separate from the one just described, 
on the first floor. It can only be entered through a small scuttle in the 
room over it. The upper, third and fourth stories are further back than the 
fiist, after the pueblo style. The outer wall is built on a ledge in the rear 
of the second floor. The second story is much more spacious than the first, 
as the roof of the latter brings the building to the level of the ledge, which 
extends laterally in each direction and serves as a floor for additional 
rooms. This story is composed of a tier of four rooms, bounded behind by 
a massive wall of masonry which rests on a ledge with the floor. This ar- 
rangement, besides giving more room to the stories above, secures the 
greatest amount of stability to the wall, which is most important to the 
structure. It is 28 feet in height, rises to the fifth story, around the fiont 
of which it forms a battlement \y 2 feet high, fortress like. It is slightly 
curved inward.* 

The third floor comprises the most extensive tier of rooms in the struct- 
ure, as it extends across the entire alcove of the cliff in which the Casa is 
built. The balcony above the second story has a battlement about it, sup- 
ported by the wall of the room. The apartments of the fourth floor are 
rather neater in construction than the rooms below. The doorways are 
neatly executed, each having four good-sized lintel pieces, 

The fifth story can only be reached by climbing through a small hole 
in the ceiling of the room below. This, the uppermost story, consists of a 
long porch, or gallery, having a battlement in front and an elevated back- 
ward extension on the tight. The two rooms on this floor are roofed by 
the cliff, and are loftier than the lower chambers . 

*The most of the walls which form the fortress in the cave villages are curved outwards. Such 
is the case in Monarch's Cave and elsewhere. 



The chief features of the architecture of the Pueblos and 
of the Cliff-Dwellers was that one great house always held a 
village, and constituted not only a home for all of the people 
of the village, but also a castle or house-fortress for them. 
There are other regions where villages are crowded into small 
clusters of houses, and the people make a common defense 
either by massing their forces or by surrounding their houses 
with a stockade or an earth wall. Such was the common mode 
of life among the tribes in the Mississippi Valley such as the 
Dakotas, Mandans, and Algonquins. There were a few loca- 
tions where a terraced pyramid was used as a home for the chief 
men and the ruling classes, and were the places of refuge for 
the people of the village who dwelt in smaller houses scattered 
on the plains near the pyramids. Villages of this kind were 
common among the Mound-Builders of the Gulf States. 

These were numerous also on the northwest coast, for here 
the clans gathered into villages which bore the names of the 
chiefs, but had totem poles which gave the genealogies of 
the ancestors of the families and the crest of the divinity who 
stood at the head of the clan. The villages of the Great 
Plateau differed from all of these in that they were concen- 
trated into a single building which was erected in terraces and 
surrounded a court, the apartments being compacted together, 
so as to make a house resemble a gigantic honey-comb. 

It has been claimed that the great palaces which are built 
on terraced pyramids in Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Honduras, 
were communistic houses, and contained whole villages, and 
were in fact pueblos. But this is doubtful, for society in this 
region was divided into classes, and the evidence is that the 
common people dwelt within the enclosures and smaller houses, 
while the ruling classes occupied the palaces, and the priests 
resorted to the summit of the pyramids for their sacrifices. 
We may say, then, that the only place where an entire vil- 
lage was contained in a single house is the one which was 
occupied by the Pueblo tribes, including with them the Cliff- 
Dwellers. This makes the study of the Pueblos, or Great 
Houses, all the more interesting and important, for by it we 
may learn many things about the domestic life and village or- 
ganization of the Cliff-Dwellers. It is fortunate that there are 
so many survivors, and that they are still living in their many- 



storied houses, that their domestic life and social status and 
time-honored religious customs have been studied so carefully. 
There are, to be sure, but few pueblos now standing. Out of 
the great number which once covered the region with a teem- 
ing population, and which made the river valleys and the lofty 
mesas a scene of life, there can be found only here and there 
a " great house" which contained the fragments of the various 
tribes which were gathered into them, and even these pueblos 
were nearly all built at a modern date ; scarcely one of them is 
on the same site, or has the same wall and rooms which were 
seen by the Spaniards; some of the pueblos have changed 
many times; in fact the only village which remains the same 
is that one on Acoma. Still we may. say that notwithstanding 
the ruin that has come upon the " Great Houses " all over this 
pueblo territory, enough of the ancient style of building and 
ancient customs of the people remain for us to draw a picture 

F^;-VTW.^., . 

"*j**" r S"A ! B* " ' ' '\ >*, " ' ''. * 

^{^'T'^r' '"'* *^--^ e A i. " i-Vj* ^ 1 

- ! ''f"SS?w 


of society as it was in pre-Columbian times, and to describe 
with considerable accuracy the domestic and social life which 
prevail. We shall take the Great Houses for our study, and 
endeavor to show what the domestic life was. 

I. The chief peculiarity which may be recognized in the 
Great Houses is that they were used as fortresses as well as vil- 
lage sites, or pueblos. This peculiarity has been spoken of by the 
early explorers, and was formerly made prominent. But later 



explorers have so often ignored the defensive element, and 
represented even the fortresses of the Cliff-Uwellers as only 
temporary resorts, that it is important to bring this feature 
forward again and make it prominent. They were, indeed, 
fortresses or castles which were permanently occupied, and 
contained all the population that there was, for it was not pos- 
sible for families to live separately in such a country. Even if 
there were no dangers threatening from the incursions of the 
wild tribes from a distance, or from the attacks of neighboring 
tribes, it would have been very difficult for them to have gained 
subsistence from such an arid climate. It was absolutely 
necessary that the people should gather into great houses and 
join together in cultivating the soil, as well as protecting them- 
selves from their enemies. 

Moreover, there was a sense of loneliness in the midst of 
this mountain scenery which would naturally drive the people' 
to the villages. While the views are inspiring and full of grand- 
eur, it is the testimony of all who have visited the region that one 


needs to grew to it in order to apprehend and realize what mag- 
nificent distances there are, and how much sublimity is con- 
tained in them. The country differs from most mountain re- 
gions, for there is a great lack of vegetation, and there is a 
strange glare to the sun, and a dreamy haze settles down on 
the prospect everywhere. We may conclude then that the 
"great houses" were the products of the country, and the results 
of environment. Still, they remind us of the great castles of 


Europe, for they were often situated upon lofty mesas at inac- 
cessible heights, their walls blending with the rocks, making 
them seem like great fortresses. They also remind us of the. 
walled towns, which according to the scriptures were scat- 
tered over the hill country of Judea, and marked the border 
line of that and the wilderness. 

Society was in a tar lower state than that which appeared 
during the historic age, yet the same elements of the clan life 
and the village estate, which have engaged the attention of so 
many, were contained in these pueblos, or Great Houses, and 
they therefore are interesting objects of study. 

They remind us of the remains of mediaeval Europe. There 
were no lords, nor counts, nor earls, living in castles with their 
retainers nor were there any tournaments, or romances such 
as we read about in Walter Scott's works. There were no 
horses caparisoned, and no coats of mail. 

Still, if there are any buildings in America that can be com- 
pared to the ancient castles of Scotland, Ireland, Normandy, 
and the river Rhine, they are to be found in these so-called 
great houses. The comparison becomes more striking, how- 
ever, if we go back farther in history and take the state of so- 
ciety which prevailed when Joshua, the great leader, took 
possession of the Holy Land. The people dwelt in "walled 
towns," yet they were organized into clans and tribes which 
were separate, and Joshua with his more thoroughly organized 
army was able to overcome the people. 

There is another line of comparison. Many nations and 
tribes have been driven from their homes in the valleys, and 
have been compelled to resort to the hilltops, and mountains, 
and have there erected citadels and forts for defense. Such 
seems to have been the case all over the plateau, even in the 
region that extended into the southwest as far as Chihuahua 
in Mexico ; for here there were fortresses which were separated 
from the other houses and which had resemblances to the 
castles or citadels of the East. 

II. We shall take up the description of these villages with 
their Great Houses, or Casas Grandes, before we proceed with 
that of the Pueblos, or Great Houses proper. These make a 
class of villages and fortresses quite unlike the Great Houses 
concerning which we are speaking. 

The description of these has been given by various writers, 
and we shall quote from them in order to show the difference 
between the two classes of structures. These have gone by 
the name of Casas Grandes, which signifies Great Houses, but 
they were more properly straggling villages, with a Great 
House, or castle, in the midst, or one side of the village. The 
houses of which the village was composed were often scat- 
tered along side of a stream or irrigating canal. We will begin 
with the ruins which the Spanish came upon in Sonora, but 
would say that these resembled the ruined villages which were 





situated upon the Gila, and in some respects those in the valley 
of the Tempe in Arizona. The characteristics of these ruined 
villages were as follows : 

i.- They were made up of a series of mounds, or ruins, 
which marked the sites of houses, which instead of being close 
together and compact, as were the pueblos, were scattered 
over a wide area. 

2. The villages were sometimes surrounded by a wall, and 
so they might well be called "wall towns." In Sonora the 
villages were upon the high lands, but in Arizona they were 
situated on the low lands. In Sonora the houses were built of 
adobe as the material was convenient. In Arizona they were 
built of adobe and sometimes of wattle work, but the houses 
were separate. No such structure as the honey-comb, com- 
munistic houses called pueblos are to be found in this region. 

3. There was always in the center or at one side of the 
village, an imposing group of ruins, to which the name of 
Casa Grande was given. This group wis supposed to be the 
castle or fortress, and was evidently designed as a place of re- 
treat in case the village was attacked. 

4. There was a marked difference in the architecture and 
the art of the two regions, showing that the people in this 
southwest province had reached a stage of advancement sev- 
eral grades higher than that which was known to either the 
Cliff-Dwellers or the Pueblos. 

5. The citadels, or Great Houses, called Casas Grandes, 
were actually castles, and marked that stage where a fortress 
was entirely separate from the abodes or ordinary houses, indi- 
cating that a military class as well as a religious class had risen 
even when the clan life had remained the same. 

6. There was near these ruined houses and castles, or cita- 
dels, a certain amount of cultivatable land which was irrigated 
by the arroyas, or canals, showing that they were agricultural 
people who dwelt in the villages. 

7. The Great Houses were not always in the centre of the 
village, nor were they always on the low land, for there was a 
variety in their location. Still, so far as they have become 
known the villages are all characterized by the presence of 
some such imposing structure. In this we see the difference 
between the two classes, a difference which nearly all writers 
upon the subject have spoken of. Mr. Bandelier has spoken 
of the difference between the two classes of structures in the 
following language : 

Although the communal Pueblo houses of the North seem to be dif- 
ferent from the structures on the Gila and at Casas Grandes, they still 
show the same leading characteristics of being intended for abodes, and at 
the same time for defense. In the northern villages, generally, both fea- 
tures are intimately connected, whereas further south the military purpose 
is represented by a separate edifice, the central house or stronghold, of 
which Casa Grande is a good specimen. In this, the ancient villageof the 
Southwest approaches the ancient settlement of Yucatan and of Central 
America, which consisted of at least three different kinds of edifices, each 


distinct from the others in the purpose to which it was destined. It seems, 
therefore, that between the thirty-lourth and the twenty-fourth parallels of 
latitude the aboriginal architecture of the Southwest had begun to change 
in a manner that brought some of the elements that were of northern origin 
into disuse, and substituted others derived from southern influences ; in 
other words that there was a gradual transformation going on in ancient 
aboiiginal architecture in the direction from north to south. At C'asas 
Grandes a marked advance over any portion of the southwest was shown, 
particularly in certain household utensils, in the possible existence of stair- 
ways in the interior of houses, ani in the method of construction of irri- 
gating ditches. Neveitheless the strides made were not important enough 
to raise the people lo the level of more southern tribes. Their plastic ait 
as far as displayed in the few idols and fetiches remains behind that of the 
Nahuas, or Mayas. They seemed to have reached an intermediate st;>ge 
between them and the Pueblos, though nearer to the latter than the former. 
Large halls are not found in the ruins of the north. They appear to be 
almost the lule at Mitla and in Yucatan, and they aie met wiih on the Gi!a 
under a climate wh ch ib semi-tropical: The usual supposition is that 
Grandes was the " capital' of a certain range or district, and that the 
small ruins were those of minor villages. It is my impression that several 
tribes, probably one of the same stock occupied the country in stpar.ite 
and autonomous groups, and th it Casas Grandes is probably the past refuse 
of one of these tnbes. The site is well selected and commanding an ex- 
tensive view. The cultivatable land commences at the fo> t of the terrace 
which is only a few feetabove it. No ent my could approachCasas Gram es 
in the daytime without being dscovered. The question of the form if 
these edifices, whe htr they were like the pueblos of the north, with re- 
treating terraces, or with straight walls to the top, and a centi al towc r like 
that of Casa Grai de on the Gila, is a difficult cue to detern ine. Tie ci n- 
ical shape of the mounds would lea i to the inference that the central pnrts 
were higher than the ou:er ones ; on the other hand, there are outer walls 
still standing which are three stories in height. 

As to the height, Mr. Bandelier says : 

Besides be ! ng quite extensive for southwestern ruins, they are also 
compact, so that the population, if we take into consideration the fact that 
the buildings were several stories high, may have amounied to more tlnai 
three or four thousand sou's. In that case it would have been by far the 
largest Indian pueblo in the southwest and twice as large as themcst 
populous village known to have existed farther north. 

from a close examination of what remains of the building, or bu Id- 
ings, I came to the conclusion that the. outer portions were the loaves , and 
not above one story in height, while the central ones were from three to 
six stories. Hence the large heaps of ruined walls and uibbish in the cen- 
tre, and in consequence the better preservation and support of that portion 
of the edifice. By far the larger portions which have fallen are the exterior 
walls. This arises from the moisture of the earth and the greater exposure 
to rains. The central parts are in a measure protected by the accumula- 
tion of rubbish, ad by the greater thickness of their walls. 

In reference to the resemblance of the ruins to fortresses, 
Mr. Bandelier says : 

Comparing the architecture of Casas Grandes with that of the 
strikes me that the settlement was more compactly built, and that the edi- 
fices present a higher degree of skill, if not in the manner in which they 
are constructed, at least that in which they are arranged. These were 
manifestly not for habitation alone, but also with a view of defense. There 
are, as far as I could see, no fortifications proper, but the size and situa- 
tion of the buildings, their number, and the strength of the walls, were a 
mean; of protection against an Indian foe. The buildings were really 
fortresses as well [as houses. Where a cluster is as large as Casas Grandes 
it is probable that the downfall was gradual, and probably brought about by 
various causes. 


Papers iv, of the Archaeological Institute of America (American series) p. 552. 



Mr. Gushing has recognized the same distinction between 
the northern and southern tribes by means of their traditions 
as well as their architecture and art. He says there are tradi- 
tions which show that a people from the north mingled with 
the people of the south and introduced two forms of culture 
and two sets of legends and myths. According to these tra- 


ditions one branch of their ancestral people had at some re- 
mote time descended from the north and had there become the 
aborigines, while another branch was intrusive from the west, or 
southwest, but had formerly occupied the country in the lower 
Colorado. This evidence was also confirmed by the customs 
of the people. 

Mr. Bancroft describes the location of Casas Grandes in 
Sonora as follows : 

These ruins are situated on the Casas Grandes River which flowing 
northward empties into a lake near the United States boundary one hun- 
dted and fifty miles northwest of Chihuahua. Thev are frequently men- 
tioned by the early writers as a probable station of the migrating Aztecs, 

See Bancroft's" Native Races," vol. 4, p; 606. 

The cuts on this and the opposite pages represent views of the ruins frorn the different stand- 
points, as sketched by Mr. Bartlett. 



but these early accounts are more than usually inaccurate in this case. 

The ruined casas are about half a mile from the modern Mexican town 
of the same name, located in a finely chosen site, commanding a broad 
view over the fertile valley of the Casas Grandes or San Miguel river, 
which valley or at least the river bottom is here two miles wide. 'Ihis 
bottom is bounded by a plateau about twenty five feet higher, and the ruins 
are found partly on the bottom and partly on the more sterile plateau 
above. They consist of walls generally fallen and crumbled into heaps of 
rubbish, but at some points, as at the corners and where supported by par- 
tition walls, still standing to a height of from five to thirty feet above the 
heaps of debris, and some of them as high as fifty feet, if reckoned from 
the level of -the ground. 

These villages extend over a large area, and the central 
building, or castle, commands an extensive outlook ; that of 

Casas Grande, of 
Arizona, covers about 
sixty-five acres, and 
the view gained from 
the Casas Grande is 
for miles in every di- 
rection. Bandelier 
says : " In the whole 
south w es t where 
there are thousands 
of ruins, many of 
which represent vil- 
lages located with ref- 
erence to outlook, 
there are few if any 
so well situated as 
this. There are irri- 
gating ditches near 
all these villages." 
Bandelier says of the 
ditch near the Casas 
Grandes in Sonora : 

"The main irrigating ditch enters the ancient village from the 
northwest, and can be traced for a distance of two or three 
miles. It takes its origin near a copious spring, and looks as 
if it had conducted the waters of the spring to the settlement 
for household purposes only. It empties into a circular tank 
49 feet in diameter and 5 feet deep, and seems to have also 
passed through this, and supplied a larger tank 72 feet in diam- 
eter and 7 feet deep. Another acequia 14 feet wide looks 
more like a road-bed than a ditch, but it is slightiy raised 
above the ground and shows four longitudinal rows of stones 
laid at intervals from 4 to 6 feet apart. There are ruins and 
mounds scattered in small clusters near the various rivers 
which suggest the former existence of a number of settle- 
ments, composed of large many-storied houses, similar to those 
of Casas Grandes. There are dams and dykes ; and between 
the dykes plots of tillable land, artificial garden beds. The 



plains are covered with grass, on which antelopes were 
grazing in herds." 

We here have a picture of village life which differs entirely 
from that of the Pueblos of the plateau, and still more from 
that of the Cliff Dwellers of San Juan ; thus making three classes 
of settlements, in two of which there are what are called "Great 
Houses," though these serve very different purposes. On the 
plateau they contain the whole village and so are called Pueblos. 
Farther south they are isolated and form only a part of a village, 



and serve as a fortress, or outlook and final place of retreat. 

III. The defensive elements which were embodied in these 
Great Houses are to be considered here. They consisted of 
the following features : 

1. The Great House was erected in such a manner that it be- 
came the abode of a number of clans which were governed by 
a chief with his subordinates, and a fortress which was defend- 
ed by the people who were gathered en masse, and so consti- 
tuted a fortified village, as well as a'Great House. 

2. The arrangement of the terraces and the apartments 
was such that a dead wall was always presented to the face of 
an approaching foe, and must be scaled in the presence of the 
inhabitants of the entire village, who might easily gather on 
the first terrace for the defense of their homes. Thus a Great 
House was a fortress which was constantly occupied. Every 
part of it was arranged for the security of the people. 

3. There were ladders which furnished access to the first 
terrace, and were easily ascended by men, women, and chil- 
dren, and were drawn up by night, and so the house was se- 
cured from prowling foes. 

4. The stores or provisions for the sustenance of the peo- 
ple were placed below the first terrace, in rooms which were 



dark and difficult of access, as they were reached by trap 
doors and rope ladders, which led into the domestic apart- 
ments ; but the people would need to be driven away before 
the provisions could be reached. 

5. Nearly all the Pueblos had a reservoir of water in the 
court. This was sometimes fed by a spring and small springs 
which flowed through the village. It was drained, also, so 
that the water could pass through the gateways to other reser- 
voirs below, and use ' to irrigate the fields near by. This 
enabled the people to undergo a siege of considerable length. 

6. The Cacique or Governor lived in the upper story, and 
the houses were high enough so that a view could be gained of 
the surrounding country. This was the method of defense of 


the Mound-Builders of the south, but it was more effective 
among the Pueblos. 

j. There was always a look-out near by in the shape 
of a tower where sentinels were placed. These look-outs com- 
manded a view of the surrounding country for many miles, as 
they were either on the mesas or at points in the valleys where 
the view would be extensive up and down the canon. 

8. The pueblos were generally built in groups at varying 
distances from one another, but always near enough so that 
signals could be exchanged. The people living at the various 
villages would come to the defense of the one that was at- 
tacked. There were no confederacies, and no general leader 
for the entire tribe, as each pueblo was like a feudal castle ; yet 
the tribal bonds were sufficient to hold them together. 

9. The government was also defensive, but there was a 
religious class which held the people ciosely to the customs 
which were inherited from their fathers, and thus always had a 
separate house for their ceremonies. In this respect the 



Pueblos differed from the villages southwest. There were no 
estufas in any of the Casas Grandes, or Great Houses on the 
Gila, but in their place there was a central house which was 
used both' as a citadel and a temple. In the pueblos the estu- 
fas were very prominent, but they were generally beneath the 
surface and were used merely as sacred chambers, or houses 
for religious ceremony. Still it is more than likely that even 
the estufas furnished defense for the Pueblos, inasmuch as 
they were the places where the men and boys were con- 
stantly assembled and from which the real defenders would 
emerge in the time of danger, their situation in front of the 
terraces being such that no attack could be made without at- 
tracting the attention of the inmates. 

IO. In nearly all the pueblos there were gateways, some of 
which were marked by solid abutments of stone, others were nu re 


passage ways through the walls over which the apartments of the 
upper stories were built. These were in reality covered ways. 
They are more common in the modern pueblos than in the an- 
cient. Illustrations of the ruins at Pecos with the courts and 
reservoirs and gateways and ancient walls are given in the cuts. 

Now such were the defensi -e elements which were embod- 
ied in the Pueblos and which attracted the attention of the dis- 
coverers and early explorers. There are many illustrations 
which mi^ht be given, but we shall only refer to the descrip- 
tions which have been given of the Pueblos on the Rio Grande 
and the Zuni by the different explorers. The following is Mr. 
Morgan's description : 

They show the principle features: First, the* terraced form of archi- 
tecture, common also in Mexico, with the housetops as the social gathering 



places of the inmates ; and second, a ground story for safety. Every 
house, therefore, is a fortress. The first story is closed up solid for de- 
fensive reasons, with the exception of small window openings. The de- 
fensive element so prominent in this architecture was not so much to pro- 
tect the village Indians from each other as from attacks of migratory 
bands coming down from the north. The pueblos now in ruins, and for 
some distance north testify to the perpetual struggle of the loimer to 
maintain their ground as well as proves the insecurity of their condition. 

With respect to the manner of Constructing- these houses, it was proba- 
bly done from time to time and from generaiion to generation. Like a 
feudal castle, each house was a growth by additions from small begin- 
nings as exigencies required. 

Mr. Morgan describes a cluster of ruined pueblos on the 
Animas river, one of which was five or six stories high; " It 
consisted of a main building, two wings, and a fourth struc- 
ture crossing from one wing to another, enclosing an open 
court. The mass of material used in the construction of the 


edifice was very great. The walls were surprising. They varied 
from two feet four inches to three feet six inches in thickness. 
Every room in the main building was faced with stone on the 
four sides, with an adobe floor and a wooden ceiling. The house 
was a fortress and a joint tenement house of the average 
American model. These pueblos, newly constructed, and in 
their best condition, must have presented a commanding ap- 
pearance, from the material used in their construction, from 
their palatial size and unique design, and from the cultivated 
gardens by which they were doubtless surrounded, all of which 
were calculated to impress the beholder with the degree of 
culture to which the people had attained." 

Mr. Morgan speaks also of nine pueblos within a compass 
of a mile square, and a round tower, which was the most singu- 
lar feature in the structure. It differs from the ordinary 
estufa in having three concentric walls the inner chamber 
about twenty feet in diameter, the spaces between the encir- 



cling walls about six feet, the thickness of the wall about two 
feet and six inches. This tower stands entirely isolated. 

IV. We see, then, that the defensive character of the 
" Great Houses " was very prominent, and that the name 
They were, to be sure, not ordinary houses, such as people live 
in nowadays, unless we take the apartment houses or flats 
Fortress is a'ppropriate for them. There was, however, a do- 
mestic life which embodied itself in them, and which makes 
the term houses, or " Great Houses," even more appropriate, 
which are so com- 
mon in the cities, as 
our model. The fol- 
lowing are the ele- 
ments of domestic 
life which became 
embodied in them: 

i. There were 
apartments for the 
families; each fam- 
ily having a suite of 
rooms which was ar- 
ranged vertically, the 
storerooms below on 
the first story, which 
was closed, and the 
living apartment in 
the second and third 
story, the apartments of the chiefs on the highest stories. 

2. There were estufas, or kivas in connection with every 
pueblo or " Great House." These varied in size and position, 
but were generally in the court and in front of the terraces, 
They were places where the secret societies assembled, where 
the youth were initiated and the children were educated, and 
religious ceremonies were conducted. 

3. The houses were built around three sides of a square and 
had a double wall across the other side. The area thus enclosed 
was used for religious ceremonies, processions, and for play- 
grounds. Where the " Great House " was built on the level 
ground the court was in front of the building, but in some there 
were two or three courts. 

4. There were walls and windows, ceilings and floors, lin- 
tels and door-sills in these houses, exactly as in modern houses. 

5. The walls were ornamented and whitewashed, and pre- 
sented an attractive appearance. The outside walls were also 
built with varied colored stones, and were symmetrical and showed 
much taste. The angles where the great buildings joined were 
sometimes bungling, for there were no connecting joints. One 
wall was set up against another. There were no columns and 



no arches, no piers nor lintels, and even the sills were rude, un- 
hewn stone. 

These peculiarities indicate the social state of the people. 
They show that they were in the middle status of barbarism, or 
about half way between the Mpund-Builders of the Mississippi 
Valley and the partially civilized tribes of Mexico- and Central 
America. The fact that they could build such massive stuctures 
which could be occupied by such a great number of families, 
prove that they were much in advance of the ordinary Indian. 
They certainly present forms of architecture and styles of art 
which no ordinary Indian has ever reached. There has been a 
tendency to minimize their skill and bring down their social 
status to the level of the hunting tribes, but the contrast between 
these and the round huts of the Pimas and the conical huts of 
the Apaches is enough to refute all this. The testimony of the 
early explorers is in this respect more reliable than some of the 
later, for they realized the difference between the Indians and the 
Pueblos. There is certainly a difference between an Indian vil- 
lage and a Cliff-Dweller's village. There is also a marked dif- 
ference between a Cliff-Dweller's village and the ordinary 
Pueblos. There is also a difference between these Pueblos and 
the straggling villages which have beeen found on the Gila and 
from there to Chihuahua. These, taken together constitute four 
or five grades of architecture, and indicate four or five types of 
life, each one of which was undoubtedly closely conformed to 
the environment. This is the testimony of nearly all the early 
explorers, and his been confirmed by the pirticular study of the 
structures in these several localities, and especially those which 
are now in ruins. 

We notice further that there is a great difference between an 
Indian wigwam and a Cliff Dweller's house. There is also a 
difference between a Cliff-Dweller's house and a Pueblo. There is 
also a difference between the Pueblos on the plateau and the Great 
Houses on the Gila, though the people may have all followed 
an agricultural life, and may be classed with agriculturists rather 
than with the hunters. If we were to draw the comparison between 
the prehistoric agriculturists and the modern agriculturists, we 
should say that those who dwelt in the pueblos give full as much 
evidence of a comfortable, peaceful, and contented domestic life, 
and can by no means be classed with savages, or ordinary blanket 
Indians. This is true especially of the Cliff-Dwellers as well 
as the Pueblos, for the early explorers have recognized the su- 
periority of the architecture and art of this unknown people, 
and give their testimony in reference to it, while some of the 
later explorers se m to bring everything which this mysterious 
people have left, down to the level of the rudest class of the 
aborigines. We do well to take this testimony and make our 



ideas of the domestic state of the Cliff-Dweller and Pueblo as 
correct as possible. 

^The best illustration of the peculiarities of the Pueblos or 
" Great Houses " which have have been spoken of, as well as 
the differences which exist between them and the other struc- 
tures, will be found in the ruined pueblos which are situated in 
the Chaco canon, and which have been often visited and described. 
We shall therefore give considerable space to these. 
Mr. Morgan says : 

The finest structures of the village Indians of New Mexico and north- 
ward of its present boundary are found on the San Juan and its tributaries, 
"unoccupied and in ruins." The supposition is reasonable that the village 
Indians north of Mexico had attained their highest culture and develop- 
ment where these stone structures were found. They are similar to the 
style and plan of the present occupied pueblos, but as superior in construc- 
tion as stone is-superior to adobe, or cobble-stone and adobe mortar. They 

are also equal If not superior in size and in the extent of their accommoda- 
tion. They are all constructed of the same material and on the same general 
plan, but they differ in ground dimensions, in the number of rows of apart 
ments, and in the number of stories. They contain from one hundred to 
six hundred apartments each, and would accommodate from five hundred 
to four thousand persons. , 

The impression formed is that these ancient ruined pueblos 
were both fortresses and agricultural settlements, as they were sit- 
uated in the midst of a rich valley, but were built up like fortresses. 
The valley differs from the great canons in the lowness of the 
bordering walls. The canon is about five hundred yards wide, 
and is perfectly level from one side to the other. There are no 
traces of irrigating ditches, yet it is evident that agriculture was 
practiced by the people who dwelt in the pueblos. This is 
proven by the fact that so many pueblos are crowded together, 
some eleven or twelve within the space of fifteen miles, each 
pueblo having been the abode of several hundred people. We 
may say that scarcely any settlement in modern days has so 
abounded with a teeming population, and very few have present- 
ed more evidences of comfort as well as of culture. If we com- 


pare them with the frontier cabins and^hamlets we should say 
that the pueblos were not only the more densely populated, but 
they were better furnished with the conveniences of domestic 
life, and the struggle for existence was less intense. The artistic 
skill which is shown by the specimens of art is quite equal to 
that which is found among the whites who have made their 
homes in the same region. 

General Simpson first discovered these pueblos in 1849, anc ^ 
turnished an excellent description of them. He, however, found 
only seven " Great Houses." Mr. Jackson visited them in 1876, 
and identified eleven sites and made a plat of them all. Mr. F. 
T. Bickford in i8go visited them and found them in ruins. He 
took photographs of them which exhibit their peculiarities. The 
map given by Lieut. Simpson will show their location and the 
relative distances between them. The table given herewith will 
show the size of each and the number of estufas and the num- 
ber of stories, as well as tlie distances from one another. The 
plans which are given in the plates will show the shapes of the 
pueblos. The cuts which are taken from Mr. Bickford's en- 
gravings, will show their present condition. The quotations 
from Mr. Jackson's account will give their general characteristics. 
Speaking of the Pintado, he says : 

It was not terraced symetrically, but irregularly after the manner of the 
present pueblos. The ground floor was divided into smaller apartments 
than the second floor, the rooms in the lower story being divided into two 
or three. The second story was ten feet between the joists, and the third 
seven feet. Every room had one or two openings in the form of window- 
like doorways, the largest of which are twenty-four by forty inches, lead- 
ing into living rooms. The sills of these doors are generally about two 
feet above the floor. In the west wall are several large windows looking 
outward from the second story, and in the north wall very small ones only 
in the second and third stories, There were a few very small apertures in 
the first story, mere peep-holes. The walls of the first floor are 28 to 30 
inches thick, those of each ascending story being a little less. The mason- 
ry, as it is displayed in the construction of the walls, is the most wonderf 
feature in these ancient habitations, and is in striking contrast to the car 
less and rude methods shown in the. dwellings of the present Pueblos. 
Great pains were taken in the construction of the doorways, the stones be- 
ing more regular in size and the corners dressed down to perfect right 
angles ; the same care was given to the openings in the lowest floor as to 
those in the upper, In the northwest corner of the main building, back of 
the eslufas, and on the second floor, a doorway has been constructed and 
leading diagonally from one room to another, which displays particularly 
nice workmanship. The lintels were in nearly every case composed of 
small round sticks of cedar or pine, placed in contact, but in the smaller 
openings formed by a single slab of stone. Although there is a great di- 
versity in the size of the stones employed, still they are arranged in hori- 
zontal layers, rows of the larger stones alternating with rows of smaller 
ones, presenting at a little distance a beautifully laminated appearance. 

Twelve miles from the Pueblo Pintado are tbe next important ruins, 
those of the Pueblo Wejigi. The walls are still standing of considerable 
height and indicate at least three stories. Two miles and a half farther 
down are the ruins of Una Vida. Here there is a break about a half mile in 
the bluff in the center of which stands a remarkable butte some three 
hundred feet in -height. In the gaps we have five distinct views of the 


Sierra San Mateo (Mount Taylor). The Canyon is about 500 yards wide 
and is perfectly level from one side to the other. The pueblo has an L 
shaped main building, with a semicircular wall. In the enclosure remains 
of the largest estufa are to be found. 

One mile further on are the ruins of Hungo Pavie in quite perfect con- 
dition. It is built around three sides of a court which is enclosed by a 
semi-circular wall. The single estufa is situated midway in the north build- 
ing, and extended up to the top of the second story. The interior has six 
counter-forts or square pillars of masonry like those of the pueblo Pintado 
built into the encircling wall at equal distances from each other. 

Two miles further along are the ruins of the Chetro Kettle, whose di- 
mensions are 440 by 250 feet. There are seven estufas, four of which are 
built together in a solid body, and project from the main building. One of 
these is noticeable for its height, rising as it does above the general level 
of the ruin. It was originally divided into three stories all above ground. 
The remnants of the abutments, between the first and second floors still 
remain in the wall. In this pueblo was the room described by Simpson, 
which is 14 x 17%, in size, and 10 feet in elevation. In this ruin there was at 
one time a wall running around three sides ot the building 9^5 feet in 
length, 40 feet in height, giving 37,400 square feet of surface. Millions of 
pieces of stone had to be quarried and dressed and fitted to their places. 
Massive timbers had to be brought from a distance and fitted to their 
places and then covered. The other details of window and door making, 
plastering, and constructing of ladders, must have employed a large body 
of intelligent, well-organized, skilful, patient and industrious people, 
under thorough discipline for a very longtime. 

Five hundred yards below and close under the perpendicular walls of 
the canon are the ruins of the Pueblo Bonito, the largest and most remark - 
ble of all, Its length is 544 feet and its width 314 feet. A marked feature 
is the difference in the manner of construction. It was not built with unity 
of purpose, but large additions have been spliced in from time to time, 
producing a complexity in the arrangement of the rooms . Several of the 
interior, parallel and transverse walls are standing full thirty feet high. 
Three kin4s of masonry appear at various places throughout the building, 
showing that it was built at different periods. The estufas form an import- 
ant feature, both from the number, size, and from the manner in which they 
were built. There were twenty-one of them in all. 

Three hundred yards further are the ruinsot Pueblo Arroyo, so named 
because it is on the verge of a deep arroyo that traverses the middle of the 
canon. The walls of the first story are very heavy and massive, still stand- 
ing to the height of the third story. The arroyo is 16 feet deep, but there 
is an older channel cutting in near the large ruin of about one-half the 
depth in which are exposed some old lines of masonry. Since the desertion 
of this region the old bed has been filled to the depth of at least 14 feet. 

Two miles further down are the ruins of the Pueblo Penasca Blanca. 
which next to the Pueblo Bonito, is the largest in exterior dimensions of all 
the ruins. The dimensions of the court are 346 x 269 feet; the outer build- 
ing 400 x 363 feet, four stories in height. There are seven estufas. The 
rooms average 20 feet in length. 

Two hundred and fifty yards below Pueblo Del Arroyo was a stairway 
hewn into the hard sandstone, each step 30 inches long and 6 inches deep, 
with hand-holes in the rock in the steepest part of the ascent. On the sum- 
mit of the bluffs, half a mile over the plateau, are the ruins of the Pueblo 
Alto. They are situated so as to command the entire horizon. Away to 
the north stretches the great basin of the Rio San Juan, the summits of 
the La Plata mountains glimmering faintly in the distance. The Sierrw 
Tunicha stretches across the entire western covered summits of the Sierra 
San Mateo. In the east the summits of the Jemez mountains are as 
view, the frosted crown of Pelado shining above them all. This ruin in 
htus nearly midway and above all the others dominating them so far as 
position is concerned. 



V. The comparison of the Cliff Dwellers with the Pueblos 
will be interesting in this connection. We have shown that the 
cliff dwe lings were fortresses as well as houses, and were per- 
manently occupied and so had the same character as the " Great 
Houses" which were situated on the mesas and in the valleys, and 
were called Pueblos. This has been disputed by Mr. Minde- 
liff, who has explored the cliff-dwellings in the Rio de Cielly, as 
well as the pueblos on the Zuni and elsewhere. His theory 
seems to be that the cliff-dwellings were temporary resorts, and 
only to be compared to the Tusayan " Kisis," brush shelters, and 
the "watch towers" of the Zunis in other woids they were horti- 


cultural outlooks, occupied only during the "farming season."f 
In speaking of the ruins in Canyon de Chelley he says : 

Here, if anywhere, we should find corroboration of the old idea that 
the cliff ruins were the homes and last refuge of a race harrassed by 
powerful enemies and finally driven to the construction of dwellings in 
inaccessible cliffs, where a last ineffectual stand was made against their 
foes ; or the more recent theory that they represent an early stage in the 
development of pueblo architecture, when the pueblo builders were few in 
number and surrounded by numerous enemies. Neither of these theories 
are in accord with the facts of observation. 

This view is, however, entirely erroneous for the cliff-dwell- 
ings on the Canyon de Chelly and on the Mancos Canyon were 
plainly permanent dwellmgs, and may well be called pueblos, 
for they had all the elements contained in the pueblos, and 
constituted villages which were placed in the sides of the cliffs 
for the sake of defense. In other words they were " Great 
Houses," and resembled those which we have been describing 
with the single exception that they were built en the ledges 
instead of on the mesas or in the valleys, and were better forti- 
fied than olher pueblos or Great Houses. 

As a proof of this we would refer to the names which have 
been given to them. It may be noticed that every one has been 

Rep. Ethn.B. p. 92. fF r description of walls, seepage 338. 


called a house viz. : Long House, Balcony House, White 
House or Casa Blanca, and Montezuma House. One has been 
called the Cliff Palace, another has b6en called Montezuma Cas- 
tle ; but not a single one has received the name of "outlook," or 
"summer-house," or "farming shelter," or "refuge," which would 
indicate that no one else had formed this idea of the cliff villages. 
Furthermore, if we take specimens found in the Cliff Canyon, 
the Acowitz Canyon, Montezuma Canyon, Mancos Canyon, or 
any of those found on the Rio de Chelly, such as Monumental 
Canyon, Canyon del Muerto, we shall find that they are as 
worthy to be called " Great Houses " as any of those situated 
upon the mesas south and east, and far more worthy than those 
which are found in the valleys to the southwest. This is an 


import int point for it helps us to distinguish between the two 
great classes which are found in this entire region, and which 
were evidently built by two different races or stocks of pre-his- 
toric people. It helps us also to decide about the history of the 
Cliff- Dwellers and to realize how their history was connected 
with that of the Pueblos, an s disconnected from the ruins in 
the southwest. 

We shall point out the resemblances and dwell upon the par- 
ticular features somewhat in detail, for the reason that these are 
important for the solution of the problems. They are as follows: 

I. The cliff-dwellings were built of stone, the very material 
from which the large majority of thepueblos or " Great Houses " 
were built. There were, indeed, a few " Great Houses," or 
pueblos constructed from adobe. These, however, are far to the 
south in a region where it was more convenient to build of this 

This cut shows the balconies and the doors and the walls of the cliff-house in Navajo Can- 
yon, which was first described by Mr. F. H. Chapin. The following cut shows the doors and 
the walls in a cliff-house which wrs discovered by Mr. W. K. Moorhead and Mr. L: W.Gunckel. 
This doorway resembles those which are common in modern houses, except that iherr is no 
stone lintel, but in its place are severrl wooden rods which are held together by wythes, the ends 
projecting over the walls which constitute the sillsof the door. The resemblance is more one of 
appearance than of construction. Both of these styles doo appear in the pueblos. 



material. The adobe was the stuff from which the walls of Casa 
Grande were erected, and constituted also the substance which 
was used in the scattered houses, which are now buried under- 
neath the mounds of the southwest. There were a few houses 
built up of wattle work, the posts having been supported by 
boulders which form the foundations of the houses. These 
constitute an entirely 'different class. Their location is marked 
by what are called the boulder sites, which are very numerous 

in the valley of the Verde. 
A few houses were built 
of lava blocks. These have 
been called solitary houses. 
2. They were built two 
or three stories high and 
were always closely connect- 
ed and resembled the pueb- 
loswhich follow the honey- 
comb pattern. They differ 
in this respect from the vil- 
lages in the southwest- and 
from those fn the valley of 
the Verde. The first are gen- 
erally isolated houses; the 
last are not only isolated but 
are inferior in their method 
of construction, having been 

DOORWAYS OF A CLIFF DWELLING. bujlt of bou l derS , and Were 

only one story high. This is an important distinction, for 
he "Great Houses" were always more than one story 
in height.. The ruins of the cliff-dwellings are scattered 
over the sides of the cliffs and are on different lev- 
els, but they were evidently when constructed more than one 
story high. The number of stories in the cliff dwellings varied 
according to locality, but were generally equal to those of the 
pueblos. In the Cliff Palace the buildings were five stories 
high. The upper stories were on the ledge and the lower stories 
below. The two lower stories had been built outside the limits 
of the arch, and lower than the platform of the cave. In the 
White House (Casa Blanca), in the Rio de Chelley, there was a 
pueblo several stories high below the ledge and a cliff dwelling on 
the ledge. It is supposed that they were connected. 

3. As to the courts we may say of the cliff dwellings when 
defense was the chief thing these were back of the house, be- 
tween the houses and the cliff. Access to them was prevented 
by the re w of houses, towers and walls which formed a line close 
to the ledge. But the kivas were placed outside of the row of 
houses on the sides of the cliffs. Courts were as common 
among the Cliff Dwellers as among the Pueblos, but more 



irregular in shape, as they followed the lines of the cliff. The 
courts were used for play-houses, sometimes for weaving, and a 
part of them for cooking, and resembled the terraces of the 
" Great Houses." The stores were frequently placed in niches 
back of the courts. Storage rooms were placed in the sides of 
the cliffs above the houses, as can be seen in the case of the 
High Houses on the Mancos (Fig. 3 and 4). These were 
sometimes placed in niches, or cubby holes in the rock, a few 
feet above the river valley, which were used for caches or store- 
houses and were reached by either rope ladders or by climbing 
up the precipice through the aid of hand-holes. Mr. Gushing 
says the stores were placed in such out-of-the-way caches in or- 
der to keep them from the depredations of the smaller animals 
which frequented the region, as well as to protect them from the 
hands of men. 

4. The terraces are prominent in all the cliff- dwellings. 
They were generally turned in toward the cave, or the rock. 
The houses presented a dead wall to the outside of the cave. In 
this respect they were just the reverse of the pueblos, or " Great 
Houses," for in them the court was inside of the house and the 
walls were either made to curve, or to bend around the three 
sides of the court, the round towers having their walls made in 
a complete circuit, the court inclosed by the crescents, which 
were concave toward the court. In the cliff-dwellings the horns 
of the crescent were generally turned out and the largest houses 
were in the concave. The courts were between these and the 
rocks, the walls and the rocks making a double crescent. 

5. The balconies are common in the cliff dwellings and the 
ancient pueblos. One house is called " Balcony House " on 
account of the balconies found in it. The Spaniards found 
balconies in the pueblos at Zuni and Acoma and elsewhere. 
They took refuge under one during a snow storm. Castenada 
speaks of this. 

6. Roofs, floors and timber work are essentially the same 
in the clliff dwelling as in the pueblos. Lieutenant Simpson 
has described the floors in the ruined pueblos on the Chaco. 
The cut given with this will show how the floors were made. 
Mr. Mendeliff says, so far as regards the use of timber as an 
element of construction of the cliff dwellings, the specimens of 
de Chelly are rude and primitive as compared with the works 
found in other regions. 

7. The doorways fin the cliff dwellings are very interesting. 
These contain a history in themselves and give hints as to the 
development of architecture in this far-away region, and its 

Mr. Chapin say* the Cliff-Dwellers used hampers in which they carried burdeni, and straps 
to put thiough their handles, ollas, or water jars. 

t An illustration of the doorway in a Cliff-Dweller's house is given in the cut. It is to be seen 
that there no piers and no lintels, anU that the sides are made of rude masonry, and yet 
attractivess of the doorway consists in its simplicity. 


ddaptation to the surroundings. The typical Cliff-Dweller' 
eioor was made narrow at the bottom and wide at the top, with 
i square jog half way up. This was for the convenience of 
hose who carried burdens from the valleys below up the cliffs, 
on their backs, and who could not lay them down before they had 
reached the inside of the houses. The doors are suggestive of 
a life which was peculiar to the Cliff-Dwellers. The people 
were compelled to carry corn from the valleys up to the houses 
hidden among the cliffs. Even the water was carried in pot- 
tery vessels which were placed in a net, which was supported 
about the head by a band, the net being hung over the back. 
This would require strength and courage. The women were 
the water carriers and the doorways were for their convenience. 
8. The walls* of the cliff-dwellings resembled those in the 
" Great Houses." They varied in their finish. Sometimes 
there were two or three kinds of walls in the same buildings, 
showing different periods of occupation. Generally the walls of 
the cliff-dwellings were superior to those of the pueblos. This 
is the universal testimony of all the explorers. The opinion 
has been expressed that there was a great decline after the Cliff- 
Dvvellers left their original habitat. There are many specimens of 
highly finished masonry in the walls ; these especially are found 
in the towers, for in them the stones are cut or broken so as to 
coniorm to the circle. The walls were sometimes decorated so 
as to present a very tasty appearance. A specimen of this orna- 
mentation is seen in the " Cliff Palace " which is represented in 
the cut. The description of this has been given by Mr. F. H. 
Chapin, who says "abroad band has been painted across the wall, 
and above it a peculiar decoration," which is shown in one of 
the illustrations. The same kind of decoration was found by 
Mr. Mendeliff in an estufa in Canyon de Chelley. No such 
decoration has been found in the modern pueblos. 

* The similarity of the Cliff-Dwellings to the Pueblos may be seen by examining the cuts and 
comparing the two classes of structures, especially the cuts which show the many storied 
houses of Cliff Palace and of the Pueblos on the Chaco; also those which show tne irasonry of 
the ruined walls on the Chaco and those on the Animas. Also those showing the terraces of the 
Pueblos of the Tusayans, and those of the Cliff-Dwellings on the Rio de Chelley. 




Much has been written concerning the religious customs of 
the Pueblos, and several persons have made these their special 
study and have brought out some very interesting facts.* 

The information which we have secured from these various 
sources shows that the Pueblos were exceedingly religious and 
that their architecture, art, domestic life, social state and tribal 
organization Were very much influenced by the religious notions 
which they inherited from their ancestors. Some of these no- 
tions and customs may have been introduced after the time of 
the discovery, yet the supposition is that they were practiced 
by the Cliff-dwellers and Pueblos, who were the same people ; 
and the information which we have received from them will 
apply equally to the unknown people. Let us then give atten- 
tion to the facts brought out : 

We may say that the American explorers have learned, during 
the last ten or fifteen years, more about the religious customs 
of the people than the Spanish missionaries did in three hun- 
dred years. The early Spanish explorers, to be sure, noticed 
some of the " peculiar structures, to which they gare the name 
of estufas or hot-rooms," which were the religious houses and 
places of assembly, and wrote of them as existing in every vil- 
lage or pueblo which they visited. They wrote also of the 
peculiar custom of hailing the sun every morning at its rising, 
a custom which is still present and which they call preaching ; 
the following is the description given by Castaneda : 

" They do not have chiefs, but are ruled by a council of the oldest men; 
they have priests who preach to them, whom they call papas ; these are the 
elders. Theygoupto the highest roof in the village and preach to the village 
from there, like public criers, in the morning when the sun is rising the 
whole village being silent and sitting in the galleries to listen. The estufas 
belong to the whole village. It is a sacrilege for the women to go into 
the estufas to sleep. They burn their dead, and throw the implements used 
hy them in their work into the fire with their bodies. The young men live 
in the estufas, which are in the yards of the village ; they (the estufas) are 



underground, square or round, with pine pillars ; some were seen with 
twelve pillars, and with four in the center as large as two men could stretch 
around. The floor was made of large, smooth stones like the baths of Eu- 
rope. They have a hearth made like the binnacle* or compass-box of a 
ship, in which they burn a handful of thyme to keep off the heat, and they 
can stay in there just as in a bath. The top was on a level with the gronnd. 
The houses belonged to the vomen, the estufas to the men." 

I. Various stories have arisen in ref" 
erence to the religious customs. One 
is that the eternal fire was kept alive 
by the priests who never left the estufa, 
and the superstition was that if the fire 
went out the life of the people wouhd 
become extinct. Another is th'it Mon- 
tezuma, the great chief, had predicted 
the coming of the white men, and 
that when they came the customs 
would be changed. This story was 
connected with the figure of the tree, 
which was found inscribed on the 
rock near a sacred spring, but seemed 
to be planted with branches down- 
ward ; the prediction was that this 
symbolized the condition of the peo- 
ple after the whites should arrive. MONTEZUMA. 

This story is similar to the one which is so common among 
all the American tribes, uncivilized and civilized, and which 
recounts the exploits of a person who is represented as actually 
having lived among the people but was a sort of Culture hero, 
a Shaman or Medicine Man, and at the same time a Divinity 
similar to the Messiah of the whites. The tradition is 
that his name is " Poseyemo," "Moisture from Heaven." He 
was a poor boy, but was chosen chief, and soon began to aston- 
ish the people with prodigies. His fame spread and he exer- 
cised a power over many of the Pueblos, very much as the char- 
acter called "Pope" did during the rebellion against the Span- 
iards, in i$8o, and as Tecumseh and the prophet did in later 
times. Mr. Gushing identifies him with the Poshamka of the 
Zunis, who is supposed to have appeared in human form poorly 
clad, and therefore rejected by men, but who taught the ances- 
tors of the Zunis, Taos, Oraibi, and CoconimO Indians, their 
agriculture and other arts, their system of worship by plumed 
sticks, organized their secret societies, and then myste- 
riously disappeared towards his home in " the mist enveloped 
city." He is called by the Queres, " Our Father from the East, 
that cometh together with the sun." He is still the auditor of 

"The binnacle or box of a compass :" refers probably to the circular shape of the fire- 
place or hearth . See translation of Castaneda's narrative by Winship i4th annual report Bu- 
reau of Ethnology, p. 522. 



prayers, the invisible ruler of the spiritual or " unseen city," 
the "Finisher of our lives." The folk lore connected with him 
embodies considerable ancient history of the tribes, especially 
of the Tehuas on the Rio Grande. 

Another story is the one which 
was told toj. W. Gregg. It is that 
a gigantic snake was kept in the 
estufa and was fed with human vic- 
tims. This story probably came 
from the custom, which is still in 
vogue among the Zunis, and which 
also may have prevailed among all 
the tribes, of keeping a snake effigy 
in some of the estufas as a symbol 
of the rain-god. There was also a 
story told to Gen. Simpson about 
the deluge which swept the valley 
of the Zunis, and threatened to en- 
gulf the village itself, which was 
then on the summit of the mesa; 
but the people were directed to let 
down a youth and a maiden from 
the summit of the cliffs as a sacrifice 
to the spirit of the water ; when they 
reached the water the flood sub- 
sided, but left a mark high up in the 
side of the cliff which may be seen 
to this day. The youth and maiden were transformed into 
stones, and the images of them are still pointed out on the 
summit of the cliff near by. 

These stories give us hints as to the superstitions which 
formerly prevailed ; they however very poorly represent the 
religious systems of the Cliff Dwellers or Pueblos. 

The story of creation is, however, more instructive. This is 
found among all the Pueblo tribes, including those on the Rio 
Grande and on the Gila, and the Zunis and Moquis and others. 
It prevails among the so-called wild tribes, the Navajos and 
the Pimas, and even the Apaches. It will be well to follow up 
this story as told by these different tribes, and see how much 
there was in common between them and yet how many things 
were different. The contrast is due to the ethnic affinities and 
training of the tribe, and especially to the coloring which was 
drawn from the scenery, but the resemblance shows that the 
story was transmitted from tribe to tribe. 

The following is the Navajo version as told by Dr. W. 
Matthews : 

"Our fathers dwelt in four worlds before this. In the first it was 
dark and small ; in the second they found the sun and moon ard different 
colors south, blue lit;ht ; west, yellow light ; in the nonh, white litfht ; in 
the east, darkness. In the third world they found a land bounded like 



their present home, by four mountains San Mateo, Salt Lake, San Fran- 
cisco and San Juan. The flood came and took soil from all the four moun- 
tains and placed it on the mountain of the north, which began to grow 
higher and higer, and the people climbed upwards to escape the flood, the 
water following them. They planted on the summit a great reed and 
through this they escaped. In the fourth world they found the mountains 
and seas the same as in the third world, but a great river ran through the 
center ; on this they settled. When they came to the fifth world they found 
a great lake, and on the lake four swans a black swan in the east and a 
blue swan in the south. Still they were in trouble for they could not reach 
dry land ; they prayed to him of the darkness in the east ; he with his horn 
cut through the cliffs and he made a canon through which the waters flowed 
away. The land was still soft and muddy ; they prayed to the four winds 
which came and blew a gale, and the ground became dry so they could 
walk on it. The sun and moon went into the heavens one began to shine 
in the day, and the other in the night." 

Another story involves the creation of the light and the 
rising of the sun : 

"The light was made from a white shell and a greater light from the 
turquoise. Eagle plumes were placed upon the turquoise and the shell, 
and a crystal was held over them and the plumes were lighted into a blaze. 
On the surface there were twelve men living at each of the cardinal points, 
and two rainbows crossing one another made the canopy of the heavens. 
The heads and feet of the rainbow almost touched the men's heads. The 
first task was to raise the sun in the sky, for it was too near ; it burned the 
vegetation and scorched the people. They made the attempt, but the sun 
tipped. At last they called upon the twelve men at the cardinal points and 
said, ' Let us stretch the world." The men blew and stretched the world 
and lifted the sun and saw it rise beautifully, and then went back and be- 
came "the holders of the heavens."* 

Among the Navajos the story was symbolized by the Kiva, 
which was always in the shape of a hemispherical hut which 
had the humanized rainbow painted upon its surface the feet 
upon one side and the head upon the other the doorway being 
made up of different colored skins, white representing the day- 
light, the blue the dawn. 

The Zuni tradition is interesting. It is as follows : 

"The people were led up from the lower world by two war-gods 
Ashalti and Maasewe, twin brothers, sons of the sun who were sent by 
the sun to bring the people to his presence. These gods occupy important 
positions in Zuni mythology. 

"Another story is that a brother and sister dwelt together on a moun- 
tain, but were transformed the youth into a hideous looking creature, the 
maiden into a being with snow white hair. The youth descended the moun- 
tain, swept his foot in the sands of the plain, immediately a river flowed 
and a lake appeared ; in the depths of this lake a group of houses, and in 
the center of the group an assembly house or a Kiva, provided with many 
windows.t This lake contains the waters of everlasting happiness and the 
village is the final abode of the blessed, and the passageway to it is through 
the mountains." 

* This expression reminds us of the Scandinavian myth of the dwarfs who hold up the 

t The first of the Zuni to cross this river were the bear gens, the corn gens, and the sand hill 
crane gens. 



II. A more reliable source of information is that which is fur- 
nished by the secret societies which various American explorers 
have been permitted to join, but from which the Spaniards were 
excluded. These societies probably have survived from pre- 
historic times, and perpetuate the myths then prevalent. Each 
of these different societies has its own lodge or estufa ; thir- 
teen among the Zunis ; eight among the Sias ; seven among 
the Tusayans- They are named after animals, such as snakes, 


;mts, birds, beasts of prey ; such as bears, cougars, wolves ; 
they are subdivided into bands which represented the car- 
dinal points and held esoteric relations with the cloud peo- 

In the screen of the Walpi we find the same symbols of the ruin clouds, the sky arches the 
lightning serpents, sun emblems and corn maids. These symbols of widely different societies 
refer to the fertilization, growth and maturity of corn, and the effect of lh rain clouds and the 
nature powers. There rre representations of "supernaturals," male and female culture heroes 
and corn maids. 


pie, also with the sun and moon, with the earth and the ele- 
ments. The members had their bodies marked with emblems 
which represented these various objects, such as crescents, 
stepped figures, spot?, circles, etc. They have their altars and 
sand paintings, their theurgic rites, their medicine ceremonials 
and rain ceremonials, and their mythologies, which are very 
carefully guarded.* 

These ceremonies consist in the use either of live serpents or 
of serpent effigies, in connection with rain symbols, and various 
personages who are tricked out in strange costumes and para- 
phernalia, and were generally celebrated in theestufas. It was 
at the initiation of the children into the clan that the most 
impressive ceremonies were observed. At this time the priests 
carried the snake effigy from the springs of water up to the 
pueblos and deposited it in one of the estufas, to be kept over 
night; in tl e morning it was carried by certain persons who 
represented the cloud .divinities and supernatural beings, with 
great ceremony and was held over the opening in the roof of 
the kivas, and water pi ured through it into the vessels which 
were held by other priest?, as they stood on the Moor of the 
kiva below, and distributed it to the children at the time of 
their initiation. This water was in a measure sacred, and was 
regarded as the water of life, for it was supposed to come from 
the clouds, and through the mouth of the cloud divinity. It 
Wris through this snme snake effigy that all the seeds which 
were to be planted, and were to furnish food for the people, 
were poured into the baskets which were held by the priests as 
they stood below the opening in the roof of the kiva. These 
seeds were also carried to the children as they sat upon the 
ledges, beside their grandparents or the elders of the tribe, 
and were considered as signs of the favor of the cloud divinity. 
Surrounded as they were by the fetiches or animal effigies, 
which symbolized the divinities of the sky or the gods of the 
celestial spaces, the children, from the earliest age, learned to 
look at the powers of nature as emblems of divinity and full 
of the supernatural beings. They were taught that the breath 
which came to them from the prayer plume, as they sat in the 
sacred place, was the very breath of the divinity, and they must 
breathe this in if they are to be received, or have entrance into the 
beautiful city, or pueblo, beneath the water of the sacred lake.f 

Captain Bourke speaks of the Apache medicine shirt as 

* (These societies have been described at great length by J.Walter Fewkes and Mrs. M. 
C. Stevenson, Dr. W. Matthews, K. H. Gushing, and others. The Dakotas have secret societies 
which are religious in character ar.d are distinguished by the name of animals; they also have 
their lodge?, but they are constructed of poles covered with skins, or with sods above the surface, 
while of the Znnis, Moquis, and other Pueblo tribes, are constructed of stone or are exca- 
vated out of the rocks. It seems probable thaf there were societies similar to these among the 
cliff-dwellers, as their rock- shelters, shrines, lock inscriptions and estufas seem to embody the 
same myths which are dramatized in the ceremonies by the living tribes.) 

t 'I hi* ceremony has been tlesciilied by J Walter Fewkes at great length, ns existing amonjr 
the Tusayans. XV. Annual Report Bureau of Ethnology, p. 253. Also by Mrs. Stevei^on, as 
common among the Sias. 


containing figures of serpents which show that there was a sim- 
ilar superstition about the serpent among this wild tribe, though 
there was no record of any ceremonies, or even of any kiva or 
estufa resembling those common among the Pueblos. This 
will show that whatever may be said about the Navajos, the 
Apaches belonged to a different tribe and stock from the cliff- 
dwellers, and were probably their enemies from time immemo- 

The snake dance was another religious ceremony which was 
observed in connection with many of the secret societies. This 
was a ceremony which symbolized the religious beliefs of the 
natives. The snake was supposed to be the symbol of the rain- 
god, so the live snakes had a supernatural power anJ. a peculiar 
charm in bringing rain in its season. There were many other 
ceremonies celebrated by the Tusayans, Zunis, Seris and Nav- 
ajos, all of them under the charge of the secret societies and at 
certain fixed seasons of the year. These ceremonies were also 
practiced by the cliff-dwellers. There were, to be sure, not the 
same conveniences for observing them, for the houses were high 
up on the cliffs, yet it is not unlikely that processions were ltd 
out from the cliffs and down the ledges, along the valleys to the 
various shrines where snakes and other animals are still to be 
seen inscribed upon the rocks. Mr. C F. Lummis has described 
a race at Acoma in which the runners followed one another along 
the front of the pueblo, which stretched for a thousand feet in 
length, and then down the steep pathway. Mr. Fewkes has de- 
scribed a ceremony called the flute dance, and another called the 
antelope dance, both of which were out-of doors and had to do 
with the seasons and the operations of nature. 

Mr. James Stevenson speaks of the Medicine Lodges or 
Sweat-houses of the Navajos ; they are placed above the ground 
and are mere lodges, but the sand paintings which are wrought in 
their ceremonies are very instructive and suggestive. The lodges 
differ from the estufas and symbols of the Cliff-Dwellers 
and they suggest an entirely different form of religion and a 
separate line of religious development. 

III. The estufas, or kivas. are very instructive in reference 
to the religion of the Cliff-dwellers. It has been claimed by some 
that the kivas, or estufas of the Cliff-dwellers were the earliest 
buildings of the Pueblos, and that they perpetu ite the form of 
hut or house in which the Cliff-dwellers lived before they adopted 
the pueblo style of architecture. As the villages grew and be- 
came compacted into great villages or Grand Houses, the estufas 
changed their shape and came to assume the square or oblong 
shape, similar to that of the Pueblos They have been the ob- 
jects of curiosity with all explorers, and some parts of the estufas 
have been a great puzzle. 

Mr. W. H. Holmes, as early as 1875. noticed the circular 
rooms in the midst of the cliff-dwellings, and called them 


estufa.s. He gave a full description of the one on the Rio- 
de-Chelly, and noticed the " box like " ledges in the wall, 
also the narrow opening which he imagined was the entrance 
to the estufa, though it has since proved to be an air chamber 
for ventilation. He did not connect the estutas with the rock- 
paintings or shrines, nor did he ascribe the circular form to the 
mythology which prevailed among the cliff-dwellers. 

It was reserved for the later explorers, such as Mr. F. H. 
Chapin, Mr. Nordenskjold, and Mr. Mindeleff, to discover the 
existence of the ledges and the piers, and to perceive the use of 
the opening in the wall, which was really a flue or air-chamber, 
designed to ventilate the room and carry off the smoke, rather 
than as an entrance. Mr. F. H. dishing has given the best in- 
terpretation of the different parts of the estufa. He says that the 


different piers which are found in the walls and which separate the 
ledges, represent the six supports of the sky, and that the whole 
estufa was built so as to be symbolic of the sky with its four cor- 
ners, and the zenith and nadir. The circular form represented 
the sky; the roof and fire-place represented the elements above 
and below; and the opening in the floor represented the place of 
beginning or "emergence." Thus the mythology of the cliff- 
dwellers was embodied in the estufa. This mythology has been 
described by Dr. Washington Matthews : it is to the effect that 
at the earliest date the human beings were confined in a dark 
cave below the ground; but the divinities took pity upon them 
and let the li^ht, by degrees into the cave, in answer to their 
prayer. The people then managed, by the aid of certain animals, 
to secure an opening in the roof, and by means of a reed which 
was inserted in the opening, or, according to another version, by 
means of a ladder made from a pine tree, were able to climb up 


from the dark cave. This occurred i f our times, the abode of the 
people becoming lighter and lighter as they ascended. There is 
another part of the story in which it appears that the waters of 
the deluge followed the people up through the opening in the 
cave and flooded the valley, and it was only after a long time 
that the land became dry enough for the people to cross it. The 
mythology of the Navajos and other living tribes may be used 
to explain certain parts of the estufas, but care should be taken 
lest we mingle the later myths with the earlier, and ascribe the 
white man's traditions to the aborigines. We may say that the 
architecture of the estufas of the cliff-dwellers, with its six piers 
and its ledges, its circular place in the center where was the fire, 
its ladder which was placed over the fire, and the double open- 
ing to the roof, embodied the myth of creation as well as the su- 


perstitions in reference to fire. It reminds us of the construction 
of the rotunda among the Muskogees of the Gulf states, in which 
the fire was kept burning while the council was being held, the 
spiral column being to them a tribal symbol. It also reminds us 
of the temples of the Mayas which were placed on the summit 
of a pyramid guarded by snake effigies which seemed to descend 
from the sky and symbolized the rain-god. There is no doubt 
that the estufa, or sacred chamber, was used by the Cliff-dwellers 
to commemorate their past history as well as to remind them of 
their dependence upon the rain divinities, inasmuch as ornaments 
or. painted bands have been discovered on the walls of some of 
them * That they were places of social resort for the men is evi- 

The piers and ledges are Iways present and constitute the chief features of the kivas of 
the Cliff-dwellers. 'I he kivas of the tribe;, to the south, such a> the Tusaynn and the Xunis, do 
not seem to have retained these piers. 



dent, from the fact that they are placed near the cliff-villages. 
They were used probably as council houses as well as for the 
meeting of the secret societies, but they were also used as a work- 
shop by the industrious and as a lounging place by the idle. 
There are still traces of the two classes of kiva; one contains the 
sipapuh or place ot emergence, the other class has piers or ledges. 
The kiva with the sipapuh is not found among the cliff-dwellers, 
that we know of, but is found among the Zunis, Moquis or Tu- 
sayans, and so suggests a different origin. Another interpre- 
tation of the estufa, found among the cliff-dwellings, is that the 
walls are divided into ledges and square pillars or piers, six in 
number, with design to represent the four cardinal points, 
and the zenith and nadir, as well as the four caves through which 

Planof I 5 ? CLIFF DWELLING Moncos Canon. 

the ancestors of the people came before they reached the surface 
of the earth. The piers may possibly represent the four moun- 
tains, which, according to the mythology, were recognized before 
they reached the surface and afterwards constituted the bounds 
of their habitat. If this is so, it shows that the Cliff-dwellers 
and the Pueblos occupied the same general territory in pre-his- 
toric times and had the same mythology. A myth to the same 
effect prevails among the Jicarilla Apaches, a triba which is sit- 
uated far to the north, near the head waters of the Rio Grande, 
and is of diverse language and origin from the Pueblos, but was 
once located near the Pueblo village of Taos; they retain a sim- 
ilar myth about the flood. This tribe mention the four moun- 
tains one west of the Rio Grande, one to the east, and one to 
the southwest, also the Sierra Blanca, to the southeast. He 

The cut represents the six room cliff village called by Mj . Chapin the Sandal Cliff House. 
was the place near which the Wetherills discovered the largest number of relics. 




made also four great rivers and gave them their names in the 

north, the Napeshti, "flint arrow river" (the Arkansas); in the 

west, the Chama. He made other rivers but he did not give 

them names and he gave the country to the Jicarillas.* The fact 

that this myth or tradition of the creation is associated by thi s 

tribe with the pueblo 

at Taos, explains the 

word which was 

placed upon the map 

given by the Indians 

to Gen. Whipple; this 

word w as Sipapu, or 

place o f emergence, 

and the story was 

that from this place 

the Pueblo tribes 


It is to be noticed 
that the location of 
the kivas of the Cliff- 
dwellers generally 
are separate from 

the domestic apartments. Sometimes they are placed on the 
summit of the mesas above the cave dwellings, and occasionally 
they were on the same ledge but at one extreme of it, though 
on the same level with the houses. In some villages the estufa 

was in the very cen- 
ter of the village ; 
the entrance to the 
village was close by. 
The usual method 
was to place the 
kivas on the sides 
of the cliff with the 
openings in the roof 
on the level with the 
ledge, so that they 
could b e entered 
from the top without 
going up to the 
apartments or going down the cliffs. 

They were often in front of the houses and thus might serve 
as quasi defenses for the villages, though there were towers 

Anthropologist for July, 1898, p. 197. Article by James Mooney on the Jicarilla Genesis. 

JThis cut repre-ents a cluster of hou*e and an t'stufa and some walls found in a cave in Bul- 
ler's Wash by Lewis W. Gunclcel. 'I he Kstufa seems to be the most important part of the set- 
tlement. The other shows the d flerence between temporary retreats and permanent villages as 
the Estufa is always present in a permanent village, but rarely in a summer resort. 



separate from the kivas which served as citadels, and oc~ 
casionally rooms high up in the cliffs where the warriors 
gathered and shot arrows through the loop-holes in the walls. 
There seems to have been a division of the people into sev- 
eral classes, each of which had separate apartments ; these 
were as follows: i. The women and children were gathered 
into the square rooms, which were built compactly and clus- 
tered together on the mesas or along the ledges in the cliffs. 
The children are supposed to have occupied the area back of the 
houses, where they felt comparatively or quite secure, inasmuch 
as they were hidden from sight by the houses, and were sur- 
rounded by those who were constantly on the alert and were 
interested in their safety. The weaving and the pottery making 
and basket making fell to the young women, and the cooking 
or baking the tortillas fell to the older women. The apartments 
varied in their shape, location and character; they included the 
storehouses, or caches, which sometimes were placed in the sides 
of the clifis,at a distance from the houses. 2. There seems to have 
been a class of warriors or "braves" composed of the rank and file 
of the people, who were perhaps directed by the chief or war 
captain. Some of these were placed in the towers, others in 
the loop-hole forts, and still others scattered among the differ- 
ent apartments. 3. There was also a religious class, composed 
of the priests or medicine men, who presided over the sacred 
ceremonies; the secret societies, their officers and members, 
each of which had its own lodge and its own symbolism. 4. To 
these should be added the young men and boys and the men 
who had no especial work or office. These remained in the 
kivas during the night and also spent much time in them dur- 
ing the day. 

The manner of constructing the kiva was also very significant, 
as each part was supposed to be sacred, and so the utmost care 
was observed, The whole structure, when finished, was conse- 
crated as most modern temples and churches are. There have 
been many descriptions of this, though that given by Mr. Ad. F. 
Bandelier is the most definite, which we quote: 

"The ancient kivas of the Cliff-dwellers were generally round, had the 
fire in the middle, the entrance above the fire, but the seats were deep 
ledges or shelves, which symbolize the six spaces. The Sipapuh or opening 
has not been discovered thus far in these kivas, though the air chamber or 
passage, which is common, is found in nearly all. The ceremonial room 
among the Tusayans is separated from the dwelling, and is subterranean, 
but generally located at points where the depressions already existed. 

The position of the kivas, as related to the pueblos, seemed to vary in different localities 
Among the Cliff-dwellers, as Nordenskjold has shown, they are frequently placed in front or to 
one side of the dwellings. Among the ancient pueblos on the Chaco, they were placed in the 
court and along the lines of the honses, and generally raised above the surface ; among the Zunis 
they were sunk beneath the floois in the midst of the apartments ot the pueblos; among the Tu- 
sayans they were sunk beneath the surface of the rock. Mr. Bandelier says : " At the present 
time some of the kivas of the Zunis occupy marginal positions in the cell clusters, just as in many 
ancient examples." 



These depressions were near the margins of the mesas. The construction 
of their villages on the rocky promontories forced the Tusayan builders to 
sacrifice the traditional and customary arrangement of the kivas within the 
house inclosed courts of the pueblo, in order to obtain properly depressed 

"In such cases the broken out recesses in the upper rocks have been 
walled up on the outside, roughly lined with masonry within, and roofed 
over in the usual manner. In many cases the depth of these rock niches 
does not project above the level of the mesa summit, and its earth-covering 
is indistinguishable from the adjoining surface except for the presence of 
the box-like projection of masonry that surrounds a trap door ana its ladder. 
Examples of such subterranean kivas may be seen at Walpi and elsewhere. 
Even when the kiva was placed in the village courts or close to the houses, 
naturally depressed sites were still sought in conformity to a general plan 
of ancient practice. The kivas were supposed to perpetuate the tradition 
of the creation, and the underground chambers symbolized the caves 


through which the ancestors of the race passed on their way to the surface. 
The native explanation is as follows : In the floor ot the typical kiva is a 
sacred cavity called Sipapu, through which comes the beneficent influence 
of the deities or powers invoked. According to the accounts of some of 
the old men, the kiva was constructed to inclose this s; cred object, and 
houses were built on every side to surround the kiva and form its outer wall, 
In earlier times, too, so the priests relate, people were more devout, and 
the houses were planned witn their terraces fronting upon the court, so that 
the women and children and all the people could be close to the masked 
dancers as they issued from the kiva. The spectators filled the terraces, 
and sitting there they watched the dancers dance in the court, and the 
women sprinkled meal upon them while they listened to their songs. Other 
old men say the kiva was excavated in imitation of the original house in the 
interior of the earth, where the human family were created, and from which 
they climbed to the surface of the ground by means of a ladder. The hatch- 
way is also constructed after a fixed plan. Near the center of the kiva two 
short timbers are laid across the beams about five feet apart, leaving an 
open space of about five by seven feet in the roof or ceiling. The hatchway 
is then raised to the surface of the ground, and over the top of it short 
timbers are placed, one end higher than the other, so as to form a slope ; 
upon these timbers stone slabs are laid for cover, leaving an open space 


about 2x4^ feet, which is the only outlet for the kiva. The reason for this 
construction of the hatchway is to give more height to the room above the 
fire, which is always placed immediately beneath the hatchway. The roof 
being finished, a floor of stone flags is laid and at one end is raised a plat- 
form some ten or twelve inches high, extending about one-third the length 
of the kiva, and terminating in an abrupt step just before coming under the 
hatchway. (See Figuie.) On the edge of the platform rests a long ladder, 
which leans against the higher side of the hatchway and projects ten or 
twelve feet in the air. Upon this platform the women or visitors sit when 
admitted to witness any of the ceremonies, just as the women stand on the 
house terraces to witness a dance, and do not step into the court. In the 
main floor a shallow pit, about a foot square, made for a fireplace, is located 
immediately under the hatchway, and is usually two to three feet from the 
edge of the second level of the floor. Across the end of the kiva on the 


main floor, a ledge of mason' y is built, usually about two feet high an done 
foot wide, which serves as a shelf for fetiches and other paraphernalia du- 
ring stf.ted observances. In this bench or ledge is a small niche or opening 
which is called the katcina house, tor the masks are placed in it when not 
used by the dancers. This is called the altar end of the house. 

In the main floor of the kiva there is a cavity about a foot deep and 
eight or ten inches across, which is usually covered with a short, thick slab 
of cottonwocd, whose upper surface is level with the floor.* Through the 
middle of this short plank and immediately over the cavity, a hole of two 
or two and cne-half inches in diameter is bored. This hole is tapered, and 
is accurately fitted with a wooden plug, the top of which is flush with 
the surface of the plank. The plank and the cavity usually occupy a posi- 
tion in the main floor of the kiva. This feature is the Sipapu, the place of 
the gods, and the most sacred portion of the ceremonial chamber. Around 
this spot the fetiches are set during a festival. It typifies also the first, 

* The figures illustrate the general plan of building the roof, ceiling, walls, floors, fireplace 
seats or ledges, and the openings or place of entrance of the modern kivas. 


world of the Tusayan genesis and the opening through which the people 
first emerged. It is frequently spoken of at the present time." 

"The essential structural features of the kivas above described are re- 
markably similar, though the illustrations of types have been selected at' 
random. Minor modifications are seen in the positions of many of the fea- 
tures, but a certain general relation between the various constructional re- 
quirements of the ceremonial room is found 1 3 prevail throughout all the 

"The consecration of the kiva is also significant. When all the work is 
finished, the kiva chief prepares a "baho" and " feeds the house," as it is 
termed ; that is, he thrusts a little meal, with piki crumbs, over one of the 
roof timbers, and in the same place inserts the end of the baho. As he does 
this, he expresses the hope that the roof may never fall and that sickness 
and other evils may never enter the kiva. It is difficult to elicit an intelli- 
gent explanation of the theory of the baho and the prayer ceremonies in 
either kiva or house construction. The baho is a prayer token ; the peti- 
tioner is not satisfied by merely speaking or singing his prayer; he mu^t 
have some tangible thing upon which to transmit it. He regards his prayer 
as a mysterious, impalpable portion of his own substance, and hence he 
seeks to embody it in some object, which thus becomes consecrated. 

" The prayer plume, or ' Baho,' consisting of four small feathers attached 
to willow twig, is inserted in the roof of the kiva in order to obtain the recog- 
nation of the powers. They are addressed to the chiefs who control the 
paths taken by the people after coming up from' the interior of the earth a 
yellow to the yellow cloud and to the west ; a blue feather to the blue cloud 
and to the god of the south ; a red feather to the red cloud and to the east ; a 
white feather to the white cloud and to the north. Two separate feathers 
are addressed one to the zenith, the invisible space of the above, and to 
the nadir, the god of the interior of the earth and the maker of the germs 
of life. 

The shape oi the kivas varied with the different tribes in the 
different distticts, each tribe had myths traditions and 
customs peculiar to itself. With the Cliff Dwellers the style was 
as we now see to build it, in a circular shape with ledges and 
piers. This, however, was modified and changed so as to place 
a circular roof in a solid square block of stone the corners being 
fill ed in with rubble. The entrance in both of these was 
from above, through the roof. 

There is a third form found in various parts of the country 
which consists of a circular tower sometimes built in one and 
sometimes two stories the interior divided into a series of cells 
arranged in a circle, with a circle in the center for the fire, the 
cells uggesting that certain ceremonies unknown to us were cel- 
ebrated. A fourth way of building the kiva is the one which 
iswell known from the specimen seen on the Gila, and which 
some think was used as a temple if not as a kiva, the system of 
worship being different from any other. All of these different 
shaped kivas have been studied with the idea of tracing the line 
of development from the original rude hut to the conical stone 
estufa, and from this to the square structure, and finally to the 
two-story temple, each stage of development and each new shape 
of the temple having produced a new form of building. 

A still more fruitful line of study would be to compare these 
religious houses with the various structures found in Europe 



such as the open air temples, or Cromlechs, the square tombs or 
Dolmens, the circular towers and the conical treasure houses, and 
notice their correlation to the religious system in vogue, and how 
thoroughly each particular stage of progress is exhibited by them. 
We would say, however, that nowhere in the world has there 
been exactly such a religious house as the kiva is, and nowhere 
has there appeared any such form of worship or system of my- 
thology as was introduced in it. The structure is as unique as 
the system itself, and both together serve to make the Cliff dwell- 
t TS and the Pueblos, their successors, a very remarkable people, 
though no more remarkable than the mound builders on one 
side or the ancient Mexicans on the other. 

IV. In reading the descriptions of these estufas and their 

furnishings, one needs to asso- 
ciate their different parts with 
myths which are still told 


by the aborigines of the great plateau ; but he needs to remem- 
ber that 'he myths vary in their character, as much as do the estufas 
(or those which are told by the Navajoes bring one class ot 
divinities into prominence, and those told by the Zunis 
another, those by the Apaches still another, each tribe hav- 
ing its own pantheon and as well as its own mythology. 

It will also be noticed that while the tribes regarded the 
mountains and the lakes as the homes of their divinities, yet 
each had its own Olympus, or rather its own group of mountains 
in which the divinities were supposed to dwell the four promi- 
nent peaks always being pointed out as constituting their 
abode. It cannot be asertained whether the Cliff" Dwellers wor- 
shipped the mountain divinities, as did the Navajoes, or the 
personified divinities, such as the Zunis now worship, but they 
undoubtedly peopled the scene with beings, which were real 
to them, and which lurnished even more sense of power and 

It will be remembered that the scenes with which they 
were surrounded were very remarkable and they must have 
had a great influence over their superstitious minds. They 



could not have climbed to their strongholds in the sides of the 
cliffs without feeling that their fields were liable to depredations. 
There must have been a sense of helplessness amid all these 
dangers. The ?cenery was also likely to impress them with a 
sense of awe wherever they went. All of the travelers have 
spoken of the many points, where distant views can be gained 
filling the mind with a sense of grandeur and beauty. Others 
have spoken of the views which 
are presented by the deep canons. 
We may judge from the myths, 
which are extant among the Nava 
joes, what a strange effect the col- 
ors of the rocks and the sky had 
upon their minds. Those colors 
were by the Navajoes embodied in 
their sand paintings and made to 
show the drapery with which the 
mountain and sky divinities were 
clothed. The figures contained in 
the sand paintings are explained 
by the myths which, are extant 
among different tribes, such as the 
Navajoes, the Sias, Zunis and 'Mo- 
quis or Tusayans. Their divinities 
were very much alike in their char- 
acter, all having sprung from an 
original pair, though their birth and 
their activities weie within the re- 
gion which the tribe called its own. 

The nature powers were per- 
sonified by each of the tribes. 
The clouds, the mountains, the 
lightnings, the plants, the sun 
beams and the spray, all were 
represented as supernatural beings, 
who were clothed with beautiful 
colors similar to those of the sky 
and rocks and the sunlight. 
Shells, crystals and mosses were 
used to decorate the persons of 
their gods and all were repre- 
sented by their sand paintings, the myths which are still told, 
giving an explanation of the paintings. It is inten sting to 
take these myths and compare them with one another, and 
with those told by other nations, Greeks, Scandinavians and 

There was in all a first pair, but generally two brothers are 
very prominent and serve as the chief divinities. These broth- 
ers among the Navajoes have the strange names, Hasjelti and 
Hostjoghon, They were born on the mountain where the 




clouds meet, from the union of the sun-god and the shell- 
woman. These were the great " Song-makers." They gave 
songs and prayers to the mountains, and clothed the mountains 
with the colors and clouds which they now bear. They float 
on the sun-beams which are arranged into a raft in the form of 
a cross and which has the different colors of the rainbow, but 
edged with the foam of the ocean. They visited the different 
mountains: first, they visited Henry Mountain in Utah, and 
gave to it songs and prayers, and gave to it the color it hears. 
They next went to Sierra Blanca in Colorado, and gave 

it songs and prayer 
and a clothing of white, 
with two eagle plumes. 
From here they went to 
San Mateo (Mt. Taylor) 
and gave it songs and 
prayers, and dressed it in 
turquoise. (This is the 
color the mountain now 
has.) They next went to 
San Francisco Mountain 
in Arizona, and dressed it 
in abalone shells with two 
eagle plumes (Clouds 
which float above the 
peaks) and gave it songs 
and prayers. They then 
went to the Ute Moun- 
tain and dressed it in 
black beads with two 

eagle plumes on its head. Hasjelti is the great mediator. He 
communicates through feathers, and to him the most important 
prayers are addressed. 

He is represented in the sand paintings as clothed in a white 
garment, wearing white moccasins and having on his head white 
eagle plumes trimmed with fluffy down from the eagle's breast 
and carrying in his hand the squirrel bag. He is attended by 
certain gods, which are called Naaskidi. These are hunch- 
backed; but their backs represent the black clouds and so are 
black, streaked with linesof white sunlight and trimmed with white 
feathers. They bear a lightning staff in their hand which is 
their great ensign of power. 

In many of the sand paintings there are gods which stand 
upon a cross, making it to resemble the Suastika. They are 
surrounded by the humanized rainbow. They watch over the 
plants which draw their sustenance from the central waters. 
They wear around their bodies, skirts of red sunlight adorned 
with sunbeams. They have ear pendants, armlets and bracelets 
of turquoise and coral. Their arms and legs are black, but 





streaked with white, symbolizing the zigzag lightning across the 
black clouds. In one case, four goddesses are attended with 
four plants the cornstalk and the four plants make a double 
cross, the plants one and the goddesses another eight arms to 
one cross. These are all colored and represent the different 
points of the sky ; that on the east is white and has by her side 
the white cornstalk ; the god- 
dess of the south is blue, 
and has by her side a blue 
beanstalk ; the one on the 
west is yellow and has a yel- 
low pumpkin vine by her 
side ; the body of the god 
dess of the north is black 
and has the black tobacco 
by her side. These sand 
paintings were made by the 
Navajoes and show the relig- 
ion of that tribe which con- 
sisted in the worship of the 
mountain divinities. It dif- 
fered from the religion of 
the Zunis, the Sias and the 

Tusayans who worshipped the sky and cloud divinities and rep- 
resented them differently. It appears that the Navajoes rarely 
gave wings to their gods or goddesses, but generally represented 

them as sailing upon rafts of sun- 
beams while the Zunis gave wings to 
their gods and placed turreted caps 
on their heads, though the human- 
ized rainbow generally spanned the 
sky above, and the lightning hurler 
was below. They are bird men, but 
are attended by animal gods. They 
had not, however, reached that stage 
in which personal anthropomorphic 
gods were worshipped as they were 
in Central America and Mexico. 

Now, the question arises, which 
form of religion did the Ciiff-Dwell- 
ers possess ? Was it that of the 
Navajoes which consisted in the 

worship of the mountain divinities or that of the Zunis, which 
consisted in the worship of the water divinities ? In answer 
to this, one can only refer to the symbols which are found upon 
the rocks near the Cliff-Dwellings. Thus far no image, with 
knife-bladed wings has been tound either inscribed upon the 
rocks or the pottery relics of the Cliff-Dwellers, nor has there 




been seen any 
rafts, and as yet 
the rain cloud. 

This winged figure called the " Priesthood 

humanized goddesses standing on crosses or 
not even the O-mo-wuh, which is the symbol of 

of the Bow," is 
very suggestive. 
It reminds us of 
the gods of the 
Assyrians, many 
of whom have 
birds' heads and 
wings. It also 
reminds us of the 
Egyptian symbol 
of the winged 
globe, as the head 
is like a disk and 
the wings are al- 
ways spread. 
There are winged 
figures among 
the tribes on the 
northwest coast. 
Yehl, the chief 
god, is a bird 
with wings out- 
spread, which 
contends with 
the whale. 

The Dakota 
and Algonkin 
tribes also had as 
their chief divin- 
ity, a thunder- 
bird, who was a 
sky-god, but he 
was the eternal 
foe to the serpent 
who was a water- 
god. The Zuni- 
bird - god was, 

sometimes, a friend to the serpent-^od, as both were united in 
bringing the rain clouds which water the earth and so help the 
crops. The Zunis have also symbols of the water animals, frogs 
and lizards and tad-poles, as is shown in the cuts. As to the 
divinities of the Cliff-Dwellers there are few means of learning 
about them except as we study the rock inscriptions, and the 
symbols contained in them. There are few symbols which re- 
semble those found elsewhere, such as the suastika which is the 




symbol of the revolving sky, the coil which is the symbol of the 
whirlwind, the cross with arrows which is like a weather-vane, 
as it shows the cardinal points, the consecutive circles and the 
crescents which are symbols of the sun and moon and also the 
circle with crooked rays which is the squash flower. There are 
in the inscriptions many nondescript figures ; as for instance, 
snakes with human heads and arms ; lizards vv th serpents for 


legs ; centipedes with tapering bodies ; circles with lightning 
serpents issuing from them ; lizards with claws projecting from 
the head, reminding us of some of the figures found on the 
Maya codices ; serpents with legs and circles for bodies and 
human heads. These are all represented in the cut which con- 
tains a selection from the different rock inscriptions. It will be 
noticed that there is no rain symbol, called the U nio-\vuh, nor is 
there any cross with human fi^urjs on them, nor even any 
prayer plumes, but there are many human figures. The nearest 
approach to any known symbol is found in the concentric circles 


which are colored after the usual colors of the cardinal points, 
and the great number of human hands also colored. The most 
that we can say is, that those animals which generally are asso- 
ciated with water, such as snakes, lizards, frogs, centipedes, dra- 
gon-flies, and water-skates, are very numerous, thus showing 
that the water was symbolyzed rather than the sky. Still we 
may say that .here is considerable resemblance between these 
rock inscriptions and those found at Oakley Springs, Arizona, 
as the same animals may be recognized in each. 

In the Arizona inscriptions, the serpents seem to be uncoiling 
from the sky and descending to the earth, thus symbolizing the 
rain, while the coils near by symbolize the whirlwind and the 
looped squar ; above symbolizes the four parts of the sky, the 
same as it does in the shell gorgets found in^the mounds of stone 
graves of Tennessee. 

Figures of snakes are very common among the pictographs 
on the Mesa, near the Moqui villages. One of these is ten feet 
long. The head is triangular, with two projecting tonguer. 
The most remarkable specimen is one which is associated with 
other symbols of the sun, of the clouds and rain. In this snake 
there are six udders which symbolyze the legend, that all the 
water and blood of the earth come from the breast of the great 
serpent. The neck and body are decorated with parallel lines, 
and arrows, the duck's foot and frog's foot which resemble those 
found in the s rpent symbol in Mexico. 

There are rock paintings on the Potrero Chetro where the 
Delight maker or Medicine man is represented as dancing with 
a serpent erect in front of him Mr. Guncket also describes the 
shrines and boulder sites in which the Serpent is represented in 
various attitudes and along with the serpent many other sym- 
bols. These shrines were places where the dances occur and 
where the mythologies are depicted upon the walls. One such 
shrine is underneath a huge boulder, around which was a wall 
built in a circle. Within the circle and underneath the boulder 
were rock inscriptions which represented animal figures, serpents 
and various symbols.* A cave town is described by Mr. Gunckel 
as having many symbolic figures; the fo lowing is the descrip- 

"It was situated in a wild and beautiful spot, shut in on all sides by 
high sandstone cliffs except at a narrow entrance ; and the foliage ,s al- 
most tropical in its luxuriance consisting of the cactus of gigantic size, 
grass and flowering plants, studded heie and there with stunted cedars and 
pinons, Back of the houses was a spring of delicious cold water which 
issued from under the heavy sandstone ledge and formed a water reservoir 
in the cave town which is a rare and valued thing in this arid country. The 
walls of the cavern are covered with picture writings, the most common of 
\vhichrepresentthehuman hand painted in red, white and yellow. In an- 
other cave were also circles representing targets, painted in colors; also 
the figures of serpents, coiled, or springing or crawling; alro circles and 

This village is represented in the cut of " Cold Spring Cave." 



snakes combined, symbolizing the lightning dart ; also the figure of a bow 
and arrow strung to shoot ; these are represented in the cut. Among the 
specimens of art are fragments of bowls, cups, pegs, and pitchers, and very 
few specimens are found that are not painted, or covered with raised fig- 
ures. Among the ornamental designs we found the scroll, the fret, and the 
stepped figure, in one case the suastika 

Mr. \ T. Bickford speaks of rock inscriptions as the Rio de 

" Hundreds of the shapes of human hands the autographs perhaps ot 
the dwellers are found adorning the now inaccessible roofs of some of the 
caves. They were formed by thrusting the hand into the liquid coloring 
matter and slapping it with fingers extended upon the rock. Symbols are 
frequent ; the dragon fly, the rainbow, the sun objects of reverence to the 
living Pueblos. Few animals were pictured. 


Mrs. Stevenson describes a shrine which was used by the Sias 
in wnich the snake society celebrated its ceremonials. 

" It was a rectangular structure of logs, which had a rude fire-place in 
it, and two niches in the wall, in which htood two vases. The vases were 
decorated with snakes and cougars upon a ground of creamy tint. The 
superstition was that the snake was the great divinity and guards the doors 
to the entrance of the unseen world. There are also six societies, com- 
posed of the snakes of the cardinal points, having special influence and 
special emblems. The serpent of the south had cloud emblems anil had 
influence over the cloud people ; the serpents of the east which were painted 
with the crescent, had influence with the sun and moon ; the serpent of the 
heavens, had a body like crystal and was allied to the sun ; the serpent <>!' 
the earth was spotted over like the earth, and had special relations with (In- 
earth. This people have their traditions about the sun the seven stars, the 
pleiades, and the constellation of Orion. They say that the cloud, light- 
ning, thunder and rainbow spirits, followed the Sias into the upper world. 


These make their homes in springs, which are at the cardinal points, zenith 
and Nadir, and are in the hearts of the mountains. The water is bi ought 
from the springs at the base of the mountains in gourds, jugs and vases, by 
the men, women and children who ascend from these springs to the base of 
the tree, and thence through the heart or trunk to the top of the tree which 
reaches to the sky (tinia); they then pass on to the designated point to be 
sprinkled. The cloud people are careful to keep behind their masks and 
assume different forms, but they labor to water the earth. The lightning 
people shoot their arrows to make it rain the harder, the smaller flashes 
coming from the bows of the children. The thunder people have human 
forms with wings of knives, and by flapping these wings they make a great 
noise. The rainbow people were created to work in tinia (the sky), to make 
it more beautiful for the people of the earth to look upon. Not only the 
elders make the beautiful bows, but the children assist in the work. They 
pictured the sun as a warrior wearing a shirt of dressed deerskin, and leg- 
gings of the same, reaching to his thighs ; the shirt and leggings are 
fringed ; his moccasins are also of deerskin and embroidered in yellow. 
red, and turquoise beads ; he wears a kilt of deerskin, the kilt having a 
snake painted upon it ; he carries a bow and arrows, the quiver being of 
cougar skin, hanging over his shoulder, and he holds his bow in his left 
hand and an arrow in his right ; he still wears a mask which protects him 
from view of the people of the earth. An eagle plume with a parrot plume 
on either side ornaments the top of the mask, and an eagle plume is on 
either side of the mask and one is at the bottom ; the hair around the head 
and face is red like fire, and when it moves and shakes, the people cannot 
look closely at the mask ; it is not intended that they should observe close- 
ly and thereby know that instead of seeing the sun they see only his mask; 
the heavy line encircling the mask is yellow and indicates rain." 

The homage paid by the Zuni to water is illustrated by the 
symbols at the sacred spring of the Zunis near the 
ruins of the Ojo Pescado and the present Pueblo Zuni. 

" It was between seven and eight feet in diameter and around it a low 
circular wall 15 x 20 feet across has been raised. The spring is cleared out 
every year when an offering is made to the spirit of the fountain of one or 
more water-pots which are placed on the wall, One of these is described 
as follows : its capacity is about a gallon ; a fine border line has been drawn 
along the edge and on both sides of the rim, horned frogs and tadpoles 
alternate on the inner surface of the turreted edge ; larger frogs or toads 
are portrayed within the body of the vessel and the crested serpents are 
also placed at the bottom of the vessel. These represent the animal divini- 
ties that are supposed to preside over the springs. Another shrine is de- 
scribed by Lieut. Whipple ; it seems to have been sacred to ihe water 
deities. The high priest and master of the ceremonies stands in the midst 
of it ; upon the ground is a sacred circle and in this are twigs and arrow- 
heads trimmed with feathers, with threads arranged like a snare supposed 
to be an invocation for rain. In the midst we find the tablets in which are 
crescents, crosses and other symbols, all of which s-how the regard for the 
nature powers and the sanctity of the sun, moon and stars, as worthy of 



The religious life of the Cliff Dwellers was the subject of the 
previous chapter. Their domestic life is next to engage our 
attention. This is very difficult to learn about, for there are no 
records to give us information, no traditions even to give us 
hints, and very few relics are left which can reveal to us their 
domestic life. All that we can do is to take the various struc- 
tures which remain, examine carefully the relics which have been 
found within the cliff-dwellings, and compare the structures 
with those which are still occupied by the Pueblos farther south, 
and the relics found, with those in use, and make out from these a 
picture which shall fit into the framework which is left. 

We have intimated that the survivors of the Cliff-Dwellers, 
or at least their descendants, may be found among the Pueb- 
los, and the more we study the subject, the more thoroughly 
are we convinced that our conjecture is true; still there have 
been so many changes in the domestic life of the Pueblos since 
the advent of the white man so much conformity to a modern 
style of life that we are liable to be misled if we follow these 
guides too closely. 

There are, to be sure, the same domestic utensils in use now 
as in prehistoric times; the same contrivances for grinding the 
meal, for baking the bread ; the same shaped vessels for carrying 
water and holding grain ; the same kind of looms for weaving 
garments and the same primitive spindles for twisting the cotton 
fibres. There are also the same fashions, or styles, of wearing 
the outside garment as it is still the universal custom to place 
it over the right shoulder and leave the left arm bare though 
the material of which the garment is now made differs entirely 
from that which was common before the advent of the white man. 
There is also the same style of arranging the hair, especially 
among the young women. The fashion still is, to make a large 
puff on either side of the head. There have been but few 
changes in the religious customs of the people, for the use of the 
prayer plumes at the dedication of houses and the celebration of 
the dances, the wearing of the same hideous masks in the 
dances, the girding of the loins with the same woven sashes, and 
decorating the body with the same symbolic colors, still con- 
tinues. The greatest changes have occurred in the tools used in 
ordinary employments, for the introduction of domestic animals 


has brought in the use of the rude solid wheeled cart, and has 
substituted the common plow for the prodding stick and other 
contrivances for loosening the soil. The introduction of fire 
arms, such as the rifle and shot gun, has done away with the bow 
and arrow, the spear with the stone head, the throwing stick and 
the war club. Great changes have occurred also in the manner 
of erecting the walls and fashioning the doors of the ordinary 
buildings, especially the style of decorating the inner walls of 
the rooms, as the symbols and ornaments which are so strik- 
ing in the ruined houses of the Cliff-Dwellers are no longer found 
in the pueblos. The kivas, or sacred chambers, have also un- 
dergone a change. The circular shape has been abandoned, and 
the oblong, rectangular has been adopted. It is uncertain how 
long the " Snake Dance" has prevailed, but the snake symbol 
was evidently in use in prehistoric times, and it is probable that 
this and other religious customs which now prevail, have sur- 
vived from prehistoric times, but have greatly changed. 

If we bear in mind these changes, and are careful in noticing 
those things which are peculiar to the Pueblos, and which are 
not. found among other tribes in America, it will be safe for us 
to take these as clews to the domestic and social life, and per- 
haps even the religious life, of the Cliff-Dwellers. We do not 
say that they all prevailed in those northern districts where the 
Cliff-Dwellers had their homes, but there are so many tools 
found among the cliff-dwellings, so many symbols inscribed upon 
the rocks, so many fragments of woven garments, so many 
strangely decorated pottery vessels, so many rudely f ;shioned 
implements of wood and stone which resemble those still in use 
among the Pueblos, that we are inclined to take them as the key 
which will unlock the mysteries which are still hidden away 
among the ruined cliff-dwellings of the north. 

It seems strange that so much mystery should hang over 
dwellings which are so near those which are now inhabited. The 
valleys of the San Juan and its tributaries, the Rio de Chelly, 
the Dolores and the Rio Verde, have been often visited 
since they were first discovered by American travelers. Various 
expeditions have been fitted out to explore the ruins and gather 
relics, but many problems remain unsolved. There is the 
greatest contrast between the two regions ; both are situated in 
the midst of the great plateau and form important parts of the 
air continent, which arises like a great mansard roof above the 
rest of the continent ; but in one region we have continued sun- 
shine and a scene which is enlivened by a happy and contented 
people. Here the voice and prattling of children can be heard, and 
laughter often rings out among the rooms of the many terraced 
buildings. Young and old cluster together upon the roofs ; 
fathers and mothers and aged grand-parents mingle with youth 
and make each village lively with their presence. Every house 




is filled with a thriving life. In the regions not so very faraway, 
there are deep canyons where the shadows constantly linger. In 
their midst are ancient and ruined buildings in which not a 
voice is heard. Silence everywhere prevails, solitude is supreme. 
Darkness even lingers in the sides of the rocks. The black- 
winged crow sends out its warning cry against every intruder 
into its dark domain. The rustle of the leaves of the quaking 
ash and the whispering of the fir trees make the solitude to be 
felt. Echoes of the past may be heard in these strange whisper- 
ings in the air. 

The contrast could not be greater if we were to take the div- 
ing suit on board of some great war vessel and plunging over the 
side, go down into the depths of the ocean to examine the wrecks 
which lie buried deep below the waters, for there are wrecks in 
these deep valleys, and even the bodies of those who have 
perished in the great catastrophe which came upon the people. 
The framework is all there, but every sign of life is departed; 
desolation is manifest on every side. Loneliness is the sense 
which creeps in upon the soil. To trace the domestic life and 
social conditions of the people who once dwelt in these deserted 
houses, is a task which we have set before us. We shall use 
such evidence as we can find. 

The works and relics of the cliff-dwellings are to be studied in 
this connection, We have already received their testimony in ref- 
erence to the military life and religious habits of the people, and 
have found many things that were suggestive. It may be that 
the testimony will be as definite in reference to the social and 
domestic life. 

I. We are to notice, first: That the architecture of the Cliff- 
DweHers differs from any other on the face of the globe; though 
it is wonderfully correlated to the surroundings, and was well 
adapted to the life which the people led. The situation of the 
houses is particularly suggestive of the life which was led. The 
following is a description of a series of houses which were dis- 
covered by one of the last expeditions which entered that region. 
It was written by Mr. Louis W. Gunckel, who attended the expe- 
dition which was sent out by the Illustrated American; he, after 
traversing the upper part of the valley of the Rio San Juan as far 
as the McElmo and Hovenweep, went on farther west and ex- 
plored the box canyons which line the sides of the streams 
which flow from the west eastward, and join the San Juan near 
the Hovenweep. These ruins have not been described before. 
They resemble the ruins of the Cliff- Dwellers on the Mesa 
Verde. They differ in some points especially in the fact that there 
are so many ruined towers which have a modern look to them, 
and certain rock shelters which were probably used for shrines 
and places of religious assembly yet the surroundings give the 



idea that they were the last retreats of the mysterious people 
whom we call Cliff-Dwellers. 

The following is Mr. Gunckel's description : 

Monarch's Cave is situated in the beautiful Box Canyon near Butler's 
Wash, about nine miles from the San Juan. The canyon is about one-half 
mile in length and presents a great contrast to the monstrous and desolate 
mesa and valley outside. Instead of stunted sage and grease wood we 
find a luxurious growth of wide spread cottonwood trees, beautiful shrub- 
bery, flowering plants, and fine clear water, which give to the picturesque 
canyon a park-like appearance. One coltonvvood tree measured fifteen 
feet around the trunk. 

At the west end, the highest sand-stone cliffs, curved in with graceful 
undulating lines which came close together at the front, their weathered 
surface forming a large cavern about 100 feet above the bottom of the 
canyon, underneath which is a striking series of cliff-houses, which from 
their prominent position we called Monarch's Cave, The cliff-house con- 
tained eleven rooms on the ground floor; one of which remains two stories 
in height. They are accessible on the north side, and there, by footholds 
cut by the builders in the rocky, sloping ledge. Judging from the large 


number of port-holes in the ruin, it was built for a fortification. In one 
room alone we counted twenty-five port-holes, pointing in all directions, up 
and down, so as to command the whole canyon below. The whole aspect 
of the cave is one of defense and protection. 

Directly under the cliff-houses, at the bottom of the canyon, is a large 
spring, measuring thirty feet across and about five feet deep at the center. 
The water is clear and cold and would serve as an excellent supply at all 
times of the year, and the stream which flows from it irrigates the whole 
canyon to the east. At the back of the cave is a little spring where the 
water trickles down the rock causing a thick growth of moss, ferns and 
creeping vines. This could be utilized in case of an attack, thus obviating 
the process of descending to the large cave below. The method of roofing 
buildings is illustrated in these ruins. Two heavy beams are laid across 
the top, parallel to each other, for foundation to the roof. A layer, three 
inches thick, made of small sticks one inch in diameter, is laid crosswise, 
then a layer of adobe mud three inches thick packed down securely, leav- 
ing the impress of fingers and hands in the mud. 

The building on the north side is two stories high, the upper story is in 
a good state of preservation, though the floor has fallen through, The en- 


trance into this room is by a small door from the cave side, which is reach- 
ed by walking along a cedar log, laid across from the next dwelling, which 
served as a passage-way or bridge. Above this log a stone protrudes from 
the building, which served as a step from the log to the door above. A 
noticeable fact among the ruins is that several doors, neatly made, have 
been walled up as if a sudden attack was feared and greater defense was 
needed. In the north end the beams and rafters and small sticks for the 
roof, remain in a fine state of preservation, dry and hard. They were not 
smoky and greasy as in other pueblos. 

One thing in this cave not found elsewhere, is that the walls in two or 
three rooms are composed of a mixture of adobe mud and small round 
stones and sand. They are, however, hard and serviceable and in a good 
state of preservation. 

Five hundred feet to the north of the cave is a small round tower 
about six feet in diameter, which served as a watch tower, though rudely 
constructed and without plaster. About one-fourth of a mile east is a series 
of steps cut into the sand-stone ledge. By using these one is able to reach 
the top of the mesa, and it is impossible in any other way. 

II. There are other features besides that of situation of the 
cliff-dwellings, which enable us to understand the domestic 
life and social status of the people. It is understood that the 
Cliff-Dwellers were the same people who built the pueblos 
which are in ruins in the vicinity, but for a long time they were 
compelled to take refuge in the sides of the cliff to escape 
from the attacks of their enemies, who invaded their houses, 
and were at last compelled to remove altogether from the 
region and make their homes with other tribes farther south. 
They were, even while dwelling in their lofty eyries, in that 
organized communistic state which required compact villages, 
or pueblos, for its truest scope, a state in which all depart- 
ments of life and all the grades of society were blended togeth- 
er, though the domestic life seemed to be the most prominent 
feature. The military, religious, social and domestic life em- 
bodied themselves in different buildings which were crowded 
into the sides of the cliff, each one having its own province and 
use. It is to be noticed that the cliff-dwellings were divided into 
apartments* which differed from one another, not only in the 
situation but in shape and character, the use for which they 
were erected having impressed itself upon their very appearance. 
It is therefore by studying the various structures which are 
found in these cliff-villages that we shall learn about the 
domestic life of the people as we have already learned about 
their religious, their military, and their industrial life. It may 
be said that the Cliff-Dwellers lived in villages, each village 
being a repetition of every other and being made up of the 
same elements. The only variation was in the relative situa- 
tion and in the adaptation to a particular location in which 
they were placed. The peculiarities of the villages consisted 
of the following: 

( i ) A row of houses were built on the front of a ledge close 
to its edge, the wall being a continuation of the precipice; thus 

The towers and "Loop-Hole Forts" were devoted 'to military purposes, the eitufas and 
shrines to teligious, the courts, balconies and roofs to social, the houses and store-houses to 
domestic, and the cists to funereal. _ ~H "^ "** 

2 7 6 


making a double defense, its situation in the sides of the cliff 
and the dead wall making them to resemble fortresses. (2) 
There was in every village an open space in the rear of the 
houses which answered the purpose of- a court, a street, a play- 
ground and a place for industrial pursuits such as weaving and 
pottery making; the doors of the houses opened upon this 
street, and the terraces of the houses turned toward the street, 
very much as in the pueblos they were turned toward the 
court. (3) There was in every village a series of kivas or 
sacred chambers which were the resorts of the men, day and 
night. These kivas were often in front of the houses on the 
sides of the cliff, but were sometimes in the midst of the 
houses, or on the same ledge with the houses but to one side 
of them. (4) There were always in connection with each 
village one or more towers, which were places of resort for 


warriors, and which served for the defense of the village. 
These towers were frequently on the very ledge with the 
houses and were so situated as to command the front of them, 
serving as a defense for the villages and as a citadel for the 
people- somewhat as a garrison does in modern times. These 
towers were sometimes a short distance from the villages on 
the cliff above or on the valley below, but were always so 
placed as to give an extensive view, and protect the village 
from sudden assault. (5) There were storehouses or caches 
connected with every village. These were often placed in the 

The towers represented in the cuts wer discovered by Mr Louis W. Gunckel. They were 
situated on the mesa on the edge of a cliff near a box canyon. They were not connected with 
any compact village, though there were stone houses scattered over the rocky bluffs in the rear, 
and various shrines and shelter rocks in the canyon below. One of these was a tower without a 
window and with a single door. It gave the idea that it may have been used as a castle. It had 
this peculiarity, that it was mainly circular but had one side rectangular, and was called the 
"One Cornered Tower." The doube tower was near this, and both parts were built with much 
skill, and with an evident design of defense. It is about the only locality where two-story build- 
ings and towers are scattered over the bluffs, but taken together they constitute a "straggling 
village." Their location is in the " Ruin Canyon," eight miles west of the McElmo. 


niches of the cliff at the rear of the houses, but sometimes in 
openings or ledges of the cliffs above or below, that were 
easily reached from the houses. (6) In connection with all 
cliff-villages there was a stairway of some kind. It either 
consisted of a series of handholds cut into the sides of the 
rocks to enable the people to climb up to the villages, or nar- 
row places in the crevices of the rocks, which enabled the 
people to climb down to the villages, or a series of stone 
steps which went up the cliff part way and were supplemented 
by ladders or other contrivances. In a few cases villages were 
placed on inaccessible ledges, and were only reached by ropes 
which were suspended from beams which projected from the 
houses, and were climbed by the people who made their refuge 
in the rocks. (/) There was a spring connected with every 
village. This was either situated at the foot or side of the cliff 
and near the houses, and so furnished water to the people. 
There were near some of the villages reservoirs which were 
tormed by building walls across low places in the rocks, 
keeping the water back from flowing into the canyon or stream 
below, which served as a supply of water in dry times. (8) The 
evidence is increasing that there were irrigating ditches in the 
valleys, and near the ditches cornfields and places where beans 
and squashes were raised. Beside these there were garden 
plats which were formed by making terraces in the sides of 
the cliff and depending upon the dampness in the rocks for 
moisture for the garden stuff. (9) There were near some of 
the villages shelter rocks and circular walls which were used 
for dances and feast grounds, and there were other places used for 
shrines, and near the shrines were many symbols. The religious 
beliefs of the people are seen inscribed upon the rocks. (10) 
There were inside of the houses various decorations and orna- 
ments which show the taste of the people who dwelt in the 
villages. These were probably the work c f the women, though 
there was a conventionality among them which suggest a 
religioussymbolism the same kind of symbolism that was con- 
tained in the decorated pottery. ( 1 1 ) There were also fireplaces 
inside of the rooms which suggest comfort even when the 
weather was cold and snow was upon the mountains and in the 
valleys. (12) There were contrivances by which the store 
houses were made inaccessible by stone doors with locks made 
from withes, which show that the right of private property was 
not always respected even here. Whole villages were some- 
times protected by stone doors, which were set into the nar- 
row passage-ways and barricaded from the inside. These 
stone doors made the villages secure but when they were 
placed in the doorways of the rooms they made them very 
dark, and we may conclude they were rarely used. (13) The 
most significant element was the doorway which was built in 
the shape of a T, the upper part being wider than the lower. 
The object of this was to allow the men or women who had 

2 7 8 


loaded themselves with bunches of cornstalks or with vessels 
of water and had climbed up the cliff, to enter the rooms with- 
out taking the load from their shoulders. The doors were not 
all built in this shape, yet there are enough of them to show 
that this feature of architecture had grown out of necessities, 
though it was retained in the pueblos long after the people had 
left the cliff-dwellings, making it probable that at least some 
of the pueblos were erected subsequent to the cliff-dwellings. 
Here, then, we have the alphabet by which we construct 
the story of the real life of the people. Every different struc- 
ture which is situated 
any where near a Cliff- 
Dweller's village may 
be said to furnish us a 
clew to the social con- 
ditions which existed. 
In some we read their 
military skill, in others 
we learn about their re- 
ligious belief, in others 
we recognize their in- 
dustrial pursuits, in 
others we learn about 
their domestic habits 
and ways, in still others, 
we learn about their 
amusements, their fes- 
tivities and their joys. 

The scenery which 
surrounded the villages 
needs only the presence 
of the people for us to 
read in it all the forms 
of life which prevailed 
i n prehistoric times. 
The desire for defense 
was the first and chief 
motive which prevailed 
in every Cliff-Dweller's 
village. This is seen in 
the situation of the vil- 
lages and in the location of the houses. It is seen also in the 
presence of the towers and the loop-hole forts, and in the 
many precautions which were taken against sudden assault, 
but after all, it was the home rather than the land which was 
defended; and the military skill was exercised to protect 
domestic life. The home was the chief thing. 

Whatever may have been the condition of society before, it 
is evident that when enemies began to threaten the people, they 
were driven together into these cliff-villages, and resorted to 



them as communal houses for purposes of defense. The fam- 
ily may have been separate from the clan, and lived sep- 
arately, but incursions by neighboring wild tribes, or by hostile 
neighbors, and constant annoyance, gradually compelled the 
removal of families and clans to villages which were more 
easily defended, and forced the aggregation of various related 
gentes into one group. 

These cliff-villages were filled with bands of refugees who 
were in constant fear of the fierce and savage people who were 
continually invading their homes, and had driven them into 
these fastnesses in the rocks. It seems strange that the peo- 
ple under these circum- 
stances could have re- 
tained any culture or 
refinement, or taste, or 
skill, and the wonder 
is that they did not de- 
generate into a race of 
savages a s degraded 
and as rude as the peo- 
ple who hunted them. 
And yet, after all, there 
is such a contrast be- 
tween the homes which 
they had left and the 
rude huts which were 
still occupied by the 
tribes which a t last 
drove them from their 
fortresses, that we are 
compelled to say that 
they occupied a differ- 
ent social status and 
were much superior to 
them in every way, and 
especially in their do- 
mestic habits and home 

III. We will proceed 
now to describe some 
o f the evidences o f 
taste and culture which 
the Cliff-Dwellers. 


may be found in the architecture of 
We call it culture, even if it was rude and 
barbaric, for the word is always to be taken in a comparative 
sense. The very fact that stone houses were used to 
shelter the people and that these houses had doors and win- 
dows, and floors, and roofs, is sufficient to prove their superior- 
ity. We do not need to compare these with our modern 
houses to prove that they were superior to the savages, for the 


very fact that they had them, even in rude primitive forms, 
would show their superiority. Of course, it is not expected 
that a Cliff-Dweller would build arches into his houses, or that 
he would use the column as an architectural ornament, for 
there are not many modern houses that have these. There 
were not even piers or lintels in these houses, but in their place 
may be seen the rude masonry at the sides of the doors and 
the small poles or sticks above the doors. Still every explorer 
has noticed the skill and taste with which the walls were laid 
up, and the beauty which was given to them by the rows of 
stones which constituted the layers, and by the dressing of the 
stones so as to make the walls suited for the round towers or 
the square buildings, thus showing that these ancient houses 
were superior in these respects to the modern pueblos which 
are still standing. 

There was one contrivance which has attracted the atten- 
tion of several explorers. It consisted in the placing of a solid 
stone pillar underneath the floors of a room which constituted 
the second story of a house, and so made to support the room. 
The explanation is that as the Cliff-Dwellers were stinted for 
space and needed an open court in the rear of the houses, they 
put a single pillar in one case and two pillars in another case, 
and so made them supports for the upper stories. The cut 
illustrates the pillar which was found by Mr. F .H.Chapin in the 
"Spruce Tree House," The following is his description: 

The masonry of the building is all of vety good order; the stones v-ere 
laid in morlar, and the plastering carefully put on, though, as the centuries 
have elapsed, it has peeled off in certain spots, At the north end of the 
ruins is a specimen of masonry not to be seen in any other cliff-house yet 
discovered. This is a plastered stone pier which supports the walls of an 
upper lott. It is ten inches square and about four feet high. Resting on 
it are spruce timbers which run from an outer wall across the pier to the 
back of the cave. Above the pier is a good specimen of a y shaped door, 
with lintel of wood and sides of stone. 

Mr. Nordenskjold noticed the same contrivance in "Spring 
House," a house which was inaccessible except by a rope which 
was fastened to a beam and extended down from the house to 
the side of the cliff below, He says: 

Here two quadrangular pillars were erected to support an extensive 
roof. It seems to have been customary to leave an open space behind the 
whole cliff dwelling, ard in order to provide support for anupperstory 
without having to encroach upon the space by building walls, the builder 
erected these pillar?. 

The ornamentation of the walls is another evidence of the 
superiority of the Cliff-Dwellers. All the explorers have 
spoken of this Colonel Simpson and Mr. Morgan speak of 
the rooms which were entirely of stone, but the arrangement 
of the stone in the walls so blended with the poles which 
formed the ceilings above, and the smooth floor below, as to 
make them attractive. Mr. W. H. Holmes and W. H. Jackson 
have also spoken of the wash of many colored plaster which 
was frequently applied to the rooms. Mr. F. H. Chapin has 
spoken of the peculiar decoration of the walls and has given 



a photograph of a room in "Cliff Palace" and of another in 
"Spruce Tree House." He says: 

Much care was used in finishing the walls, little holes were filled with 
small stones or chinked with fragments of decorated pottery and painted 
ware. Some of the walls were decorated with lines and broad bands simi- 
lar to embellishments on the pottery. In "Cliff Palace, "a broad band had 
been painted across the walls, and above it is a peculiar decoration which 
is shown in the illustration. The lines were similar to the enbellishment 
on the pottery which we found. The walls of the "Spruce Tree House," 
were also decorated with lines similar to those described as existing in the 
"Cliff Palace." One of more interest, is the picture of two turkeys fighting. 

Mr. Mendelfff also 
speaks of the decor- 
ation of the walls of 
the estufas found in 
the Caflon de Chelly. 
He says: "Some of 
the kivas have interi- 
or decorations con- 
sisting of bands with 
points. The band done 
in white is 18 inches 
below the bench and 
its top is broken at 
intervals with points. 
In the principal kivas 
in 'Mummy Cave' 
there is a painted 
band four or five in- 
ches wide, consisting 
of a meander done in 
red over a white back 
ground, arranged in 
squares. Examples 
almost identical with 
those shown here are 
found in the Mancos 
ruins. It is probable 
that they are of a cer- 
emonial rather than 
of a decorative origin" 

i The similarity of these decorations to those which are found 
upon the pottery of the most ancient kind, vix: that which is 
decorated in black and white, show that these cliff-dwellings 
were ancient, notwithstanding the fact that they appear so 
modern in their style and finish. It is universally admitted 
that there was a decline in the artistic taste and mechanical 
skill of the Cliff-Dwellers before they reached their final 
home in the pueblos, especially those of the Moquis and 
Zunis. While they are constructed in the same general style 
and are very massive, yet they lack the peculiar elements of 




taste which were embodied in the walls and rooms of the build- 
ings now in ruins. 

IV. The number and arrangement of the rooms are to be 
studied in connection with the village and domestic life. The 
number varies according to locality, for some of the cliff- 
villages, such as the one called "Cliff Palace," has as many as 
one hundred rooms, others, of which Monarch's Cave is a 
specimen, have only ten or twelve, Still every cliff-village, 
whether large or small, had the same elements. As to the 

arrangement of the apart- 
ments, there was also a great 
variation. There were a 
few cliff-villages in which 
the apartments were sepa- 
rated from one another by a 
tower which stood in the 
centre, the dwellings being 
placed in the cove of the 
rocks on either side. The 
village called Mummy Cave, 
in Canon de Chelly describ- 
ed by Mr. Mendeliff, has 
this peculiarity. There was 
an eastern and a western 
cove; fifty-five rooms in the 
eastern and twenty in the 
western, and on the inter- 
mediate ledge were seven 
rooms which were excep- 
tionally large and were con- 
structed, all of them two 
stories high, and one of 
them three stories, which 
gave it the appearance of a 
tower. The rooms in Casa 
Blanca, or "White House," 
were arranged in two sepa- 
rate clusters. One cluster 
on the bottom land against 

the vertical cliff; the other on the ledge directly above, sepa- 
rated from the lower portion by some thirty-five feet of verti- 
cal cliff. There is evidence that some of the houses of the 
lower settlement were four stories high, and in fact reached up 
to the ledge, making the structures practically continuous. 
The lower ruin comprised about sixty rooms; which were situ- 
ated but a few feet from the bottom land and covered an area 
of about 50x150 feet, The upper part contained about twenty 
rooms, arranged about the principal one, which was situated 
in the centre of the cave, the exterior of it finished by a coat 




of whitewash with a decorative band in yellow, hence the 
name Casa Blanca, "or White House." The walls of this room 
are two feet thick, twelve feet high in front, and seven feet 
high on the sides and inside. A small room at the eastern 
end of the cave was constructed partly of adobe and partly of 
stone, and it was probably only used for storage. In the west- 
ern end of the cave there was another single room eleven feet 
high outside, the lower portion of stone, the upper part of 
adobe with buttresses* constructed of stone. Near the centre 
of the main room is a well finished doorway, which originally 
was a double notched or T 
shaped door, which in later jg- 
periods was filled up so as to 
leave a rectangular door. In 
the southeast corner of the 
second room from the east 
there is an opening in the 
front wall which may have 
been a drain. This would im- 
ply that the rooms were not 
roofed, although the c 1 i ff 
above is probably 500 feet 
high and overhangs so that a 
perpendicular line would fall 
70 feet beyond the foot of the 
cliff, and 15 feet beyond the 
outermost walls, still a driving 
storm of rain or snow would 
leave a considerable quantity 
of water in the front rooms, if 
not roofed, and some means 
would have to be provided to 
carry it off. In the fourth 
room from the east there are 
remains of a chimney like 
structure the only one in the 
upper ruin. 

Nordenskjold says: "In 
the 'Spruce Tree House' there 
was a division of the village 
into two parts, which were separated by an open passage-way 
which runs back through the whole ruin.f Each part contain- 
ed an open space or court. There was a spring below 'Spruce 
Tree House.' Back of the court there were bird droppings of 
tame turkeys. A tower four stories high gave admirable evi- 
dence of the great skill of the builders, especially when we 

A buttress is an anomolous feature which Mr. Mendeliffsays is difficult to believe of aborig- 
inal conception; still buttresses are seen in manyplacei. 

fThis shows that the village was divided into phratries. 




remember the rude implements with which they did their 

This separation of the villages into two parts may have 
been owing to the division of the cliff into two coves; yet it 
furnishes a hint as to possible differences in the social organi- 
zation of the Cliff-Dwellers in the Mancos Canyon and the 
Canyon de Chelly. In the first, Mancos and Cliff canyons, the 
houses are continuous and the tower is at one side; while in 
the latter, the Canyon de Chelly, the tower is in the center and 
the houses at either side, thus indicating that the cacique, or 
village governor, was the most prominent in one, and the war 
captain in the other. The evidence that there were phratries 
among the Cliff-Dwellers is furnished by the fact that the ruins 
of. two separate pueblos were discoved by Mr. Morgan on the 


Animas, and by the fact that Nordenskjold noticed the open 
passage-way between the two sets of rooms and courts in the 
"Spruce Tree House." It is plain that these Cliff-Dwellings 
in both localities were FORTIFIED VILLAGES, or pueblos, and 
were permanently occupied, notwithstanding the fact that Mr. 
Mendeliff thinks them to have been either "temporary resorts" 
or "built at a modern date." 

V. The architectural contrivances which brought domestic 
conveniences to the people are very suggestive. These con- 
trivances were very similar to those which are common in 
modern times and are in great contrast to anything seen among 
the rude Indian tribes, (i) In the first place, the building of 
a stone house with two, three and four stories, would be a 
strange thing for ordinary Indians to do. The Cliff-Dwellers 



not only built such houses, but they placed them high up in 
the sides of the cliff, carrying the food on which they were to 
subsist up the steep paths, and depositing it in the store-houses 
which were built in the niches of the rocks. The cut given here- 
with shows a house, two stor- 
ies high, which was placed 
on a ledge 1,000 feet above 
the valley. It looks like a 
modern house, for it is fur- 
nished with floors, windows, 
doors, and rectangular rooms 
which are plastered and 
whitewashed. Just outside 
of the rooms was a reservoir 
or tank designed to contain 
water, which was reached by 
climbing down the sides of 
the house by the aid of pegs 
in the walls, while in front of 
the house were buttresses 
which supported a balcony 
or front porch. This resem- 
bles the houses which are now in ruins but which formerly 
stood in the valley of the Chaco many miles to the south, but 
with this essential difference, that there were only three 
rooms in this house, while in the house on the Chaco, there 
were some three hundred ; yet the rooms in the small 

house were finished 
in the same style 
and had the same ap- 
pearance as those in 
the great house. (2) 
The stairways which 
led to cliff-dwellings 
are especially worthy 
of notice. There are 
stairways to the mod- 
ern pueblos of the 
Tusayans and Zunis 
which are not as well 
made as these. 
Some have imagined 
that the style of build- 
ing houses with stair- 
ways and stone buttresses, and drains, is proof that the cliff- 
dwellings were built after the advent of the white man; but 

This Cliff House was situated nearly 1,000 feet above the valley and was discovered by Mi. 
Jackson; the room represented in the other cut was an apartment in one of trie pueblos which 
Colonel Simpson discovered in the Chaco canyon. The solitary house is suggestive of the scat- 
tered condition into which the ancient Pueblo tribes were thrown by the constant attack of their 
enemies, and yet the finish of these walls and apartments show the advanced condition of the 
people in the prehistoric times. 





here are the ruins of buildings, one of which was erected high 
up in the cliff on the Mancos and the other in the valley of 
the Chaco,* which have doorways, plastered walls, buttresses, 
windows, and double stories, and even "cornices" resembling 
those in modern houses, and we conclude that if any buildings 
were erected in prehistoric times these must have been. They 

show the conveniences to 
which the people were accus- 
tomed, even carrying the 
material to the cliffs and with 
infinite pains perpetuating 
them in the houses built 
there. (3). Another contri- 
vance which illustrates the 
domestic life was the balcony. 
There were balconies in near- 
ly all of the cliff- houses. 
They projected out in front 
above the first story and be- 
low the doors of the second 

story and overlooked the valleys, and were probably used as the 
platforms and roofs were, as the loitering places where the 
housewives spent much of their time. In some cases the balcon- 
ies formed outside passage-ways between the rooms of the upper 
stories, as may be seen in the "Balcony House." (4) The 
arrangement of the doors and windows was another convenience 
which shows much skill and forethought. There were not only 
doors which gave access to the different rooms and from the 
rooms to the courts, but there were win- 
dows which gave a view of the scenery 
outside, thus making the home attrac- 
tive as well as safe. This was the case 
even in the cave dwellings. 

Mr. W. H. Jackson in speaking of 
Echo cave, which is situated twelve 
miles below Montezuma, says: 

Window-like apertures afforded communi- 
cation between each room all through the 
second story. There was also one window in 
each lower room about twelve inches square 
looking out toward the open country. f SHAPED DOOR. 

These windows, doors, balconies and 
roofs gave extensive views of the valleys, and the fact that they 

*A room decorated in Chaco canyon was not plastered, but was finished with thick and thin 
stones in alternate rows. The poles which formed the ceiling and the floor gave to it a very neat 
appearance. There was a window on either side of this room, and a door at one end. The plate 
illustrates this manner of finishing the room. 

(These cuts, one of which has heen kindly loaned us by the National Museum and the other 
by the Santa Fe R. R ., illustrates the manner of carrying the corn on the shoulder, supported by a 
band around the head, and the adaptation of the doors to receive them. Many woven bands 
have been discovered among the cliff-dwellings. The custom ef weaving the bands and oi carry- 
ing the corn in this way still continues, both among the Navajos and the Zunis. 



were so common, shows that the Cliff-Dwellers were lovers ot 
scenery and enjoyed looking out upon it. (5) There were con- 
trivances for weaving, cooking, and making pottery which show 
their industry and skill. Mr. Jackson describes some ot these. 
He says of Echo Cave: 

In the central room of the main building we found a circular basin-like 
depression, thirty inches across and and ten inches deep, that had served 
as a fireplace, being still filled with the ashes and cinders of aboriginal 
fires, the surrounding walls being blackened with smoke and soot. This 
room was undoubtedly the kitchen of the house. Some of the smaller 
rooms seem to have been used for the same purpose, the fires having been 
made in a corner against the back 
wall, the smoke escaping overhead. 
The masonry displayed in the con- 
struction of the walls is very cred- 
itable; a symmetrical curve is pre- 
served throughout the whole line 
and every portion is perfectly 
plumb. The sub-divisions are at 
right-angles to the front, In the 
rear was an open space eleven 
feet wide and nine deep, which 
probably served as a "work-shop." 
Four holes were drilled into the 
smooth rock floor, about six feet 
equidistantly apart, each from six 
to ten inches deep, and five inches 
in diameter, as perfectly round as 
though drilled by machinery. We 
can reasonably assume that these 
people were familiar with the art 
of weaving, and that it was here 
they worked at the loom, the drill- 
ed holes supporting the posts. In 
this open space are a number of 
grooves worn into the rock in 

various places, caused by the artificers of the little town in sharpening and 
polishing their stone implements.* 

(6) The fireplaces are to be noticed. One kind of a fireplace 
is described by Mr. Jackson, and a cut is given of it; another 
kind is described by Mr. F. H. Chapin. It consists in placing a 

stone fender across one corner of the 
room. This shows that the people 
provided for their own comfort dur- 
ing the cold weather and lived compar- 
atively secure, even amidst the cliffs. 
(7) The pottery and pottery-kilns which 
have been described, also show their 
artistic taste and skill. Pottery vessels 
have been discovered in many houses. 
Furnaces used for firing pottery have been found in the cliff- 
dwellings on the Rio Mancos and on the Rio Verde. One, 
having walls standing to the height ot fifteen or twenty feet and 
perfectly preserved, was found by Dr. Mearns at Oak Creek. 

See Hayden's Geographical Survey of the Territories: Washington, B.C.; 1876, page 31. 




Large pits were seen in the vicinity from which the material was 
taken. (8) The mills, axes and tools are worthy of notice. 
Metates, or large stone mortars or mills, were discovered by Dr. 
Mearns, some of them with the cylindrical stone which was 
used for grinding inside of the mills. He says :* 

A series of these primitive stone mills maybe seen in the Amer can 
Museum, Grooved stone axes and hatchets were numerous, and like- 
wise exhibit an unusually wide range of variation in size, shade, rr.aterial 
and workmanship. Seveial of them are. in form and finish, scarcely inferi- 
or to the modern articles. Some of the picks and hammers were also 
models of the handicraft of the stone age. Not the least interesting were 
the stone wedges (doubtless intended for splitting timbers) and agricultural 
tools. There was also a large as.*ortment of stone knives, restmbling in 
shape the chopping-knife of modern housewives. Heavy mauls, pipes of 
lava, whetstones, polishing-stones, and other implements whose use is not 
apparent, were obtained, besides mortars and pestles, stone vessels, and 
plates or platters of volcanic rock. Besides such articles ( f domt stic uie, 
there were the implements of warfare and of chase, including rounded 
stone hammers, moitly of sandstone and scoria, grooved for attachment to 
a handle by means of a hide thong; also grooved stones used in arrow- 
making, spear-heads and arrow points of obsidian cr agate, and flints from 
the war club. Pigments red, blue, gray, and black were found; also a 
heavy, black powder, and the usual chipped pieces of obsidian (volcanic 
glass) and agate, together with ornamental pebbles, etc. Nor were orna- 
ments lacking, such as amulets of shells and rings of bone and shells. 
Large earthen vessels were uncovered, the largest of them had a capacity 
of thirty gallons. One room appeared to have served as a store-room for 
earthen utensils, some of which were found in nests contained one within 
another, the smallest specimen measuring but \% inches in diameter. 
There were ladles, dippers, shallow saucers, graceful ollas and vases which 
displayed much artistic feeling in their conception and execution. . . . 
Numerous tools of bone, such as were employed in the manufacture of rope, 
neatly carved from the bones of deer or antelope, were among the relics 
found. Various food substances were examined, including bones, teeth or 
horns (usually charred by fire) of elk, mule-deer, antelope, beavtr, ?per- 
mophile, pouched gopher, wood-rat, musk rat. mice, cotton- and jack rabbit, 
turkey, serpenf, turtle and fish, A sandal of vucca, differing in des ; gn from 
that taken from the wall ol Montezuma's Castle, and seviral pieces of 
human scalps, complete ihe list of relics from this casa. 

VI. Here then we have the archaeological evidence of the 
domestic life of the Cliff-Dwellers, both those who were situ- 
ated in the Mancos canyon, in the Canyon de Chelly and on 
the Rio Verde. The best illustration, however, is that which 
is given by the people who still inhabit the pueblos, and who 
are supposed to be the same people who formerly spre.-d over 
the entire plateau and some of whom built the cliff-dwellings 
as a defense against the wild tribes. Their domestic life, 
though somewhat modified by contact with the whites, 
undoubtedly resembles that of the Cliff-Dwellers, for they are 
very tenacious of their old customs and ways, and still con- 
tinue the same organization and peculiar pueblo life. 

The following description was furnished by a lady who be- 
came thoroughly familiar with it on accompanying her hus- 
band, who was in charge of the field parties under Major 

Popular Science Monthly,^October 2oth, 1890, pp. 761-62. 

st ~ 


Powell, Mrs. James Stevenson. She made an extensive visit 
to Zuni and says : 

Their extreme exclusiveness has preserved to the Zunians their strong 
individuality, and kept their language pure. According to Major Powell's 
classification, their speech forms one of the four linguistic stocks to which 
may be traced all the Pueblo dialects of the southwest. In all the large 
area which was once thickly dotted with settlements, only thirty-one 
remain, and these are scattered hundreds of miles apart from Taos, in 
northern New Mexico, to Isleta, in western Texas. Among these remnants 
of great native tribes, the Zunians may claim perhaps the highest position, 
whether we regard simply their agricultural and pastoral pursuits, or con- 
sider their whole social and political organization. 

The town of Zuni is built in the most curious style. It resembles a 
great bee hive, with the houses piled one upon another in a succession of 
terraces, the roof of one forming the floor or yard of the next above, and 
so on, until in some cases five tiers of dwellings are successively erected 
though no one of them is over two stories high. These structures are of 
stone and 'adobe.' They are clustered around two plazas, or open squares, 
with several streets and three covered ways through the town. The upper 
houses of Zuni are reached by ladders from the outside. The lower tiers 


have doors on the ground plan, while the entrances to the others are from 
the terraces. There is a second entrance through hatchways in the roof, 
and thence by ladders down into the rooms be ow. In times of threatened 
attack the ladders were either drawn up or their rungs were removed, and 
the lower doors wers securely fastened in some of the many ingenious ways 
these people have of barring the entrances to their dwellings. The houses 
have small windows in which mica was originally used, and is still employ- 
ed to some extent; but the Zun ; ans prize glass highly, and secure it when- 
ever practicable, at almost any cost. A dwelling of average capacity has 
four or five rooms, though in some there are as many as eight. Some of 
the larger apartments are paved with flagging, but the floors are usually 
plastered with clay, like the walls. They arc kept in constant repair by the 
women, who mix a reddish-brown earth with water to the proper consist- 
ency, and then spreading it by hand, always laying it on in semi-circles. 
It dries smooth and even, and looks well. In working this plaster the 
squaw keeps her mouth filled with water, which is applied with all the dex- 
terity with which a Chinese laundryman sprinkles clothes. The women 
appear to delight in this work, which they consider their special preroga- 
tive, and would feel that their rights were infringed upon were man to do 
it. In building, the men lay the stone foundations and set in place the 
huge logs that serve as beams to support the roof, the spaces between these 


rafters being filled with willow brash; though some of the wealthier 
Zunians use instead shingles made by the carpenters of the village. The 
women then finish the structure. The ceilings of all the older houses are 
low; but Zuni architecture has improved and the modern style gives plenty 
of room, with doors through which one may pass without stooping. The 
inner walls are usu?.lly whitened. For this purpose a kind of white clay 
is dissolved in boiling water and applied by hand. A glove of undressed 
goat skin is worn, the hand being dipped in the hot liquid and passed 
repeatedly over the wall. 

In Zuni, as elsewhere, riches and official position confer importance 
upon possessors. The wealthier class live in the lower houses, those of 
moderate means next above, while the poorer families have to be content 
with the uppermost stories. Naturally nobody will climb into the garret 
who has the means of securing more convenient apartments, under the 
huge system of "French Flats," which is the way of living in Zuni. 

The Alcalde, or lieutenant-governor, furnishes an exception to the 
general rule, as his official duties require him to occupy the highest house 
of all, from the top of which he announces each morning to the people the 
orders of the governor, and makes such other proclamations as may be 
required of him. 

Each family has one room, generally the largest in the house, where 
they eat, work and sleep together. In this room the wardrobe of the family 
hangs upon a log suspended beneath the rafters. Only the more valued 
robes, such as -those worn in the 
dance, being wrapped and carefully 
stored away in another apartment. 
Work of all kinds goes on in this 
larger room, including the cooking, 
which is done in a fireplace on the 
long side, made by a projection at 
right angles with the wall, with a 
mantel-piece on which rests thebase 
of the chimney. Another fireplace 
in another place is from six to eight 

feet in width, and above this is a _^fc _j^^HH B^*1ifl 
ledge shaped chimney like a -* 
Chinese awning. A highly-polished 
slab, fifteen or twenty inches in size, 

is raised a ioot above the hearth. MAKING BREAD. 

Coals are heaped beneath this slab, 

and upon it the Waiavi is baked. This delicious kind of bread is made 
of meal ground finely and spread in a thin batter upon the stone with 
the naked hand. It is as thin as a wafer, and these crisp, gauzy sheets 
when cooked are piled in layers and then folded or rolled. Light bread, 
which is made only at feast times, is baked in adobe ovens outside of the 
houses. When not in use for this purpose they make conven : ent kennels 
for the dogs, and playhouses for the children. Neatness is not one of the 
characteristics of the Zunians. In the late autumn and winter the women 
do little else than make bread; often in fanciful shapes for the feasts and 
dances which continually occur. A sweet drink, not at all intoxicating, 
is made from the sprouted wheat. The men use tobacco, procured 
from white traders, in the form of cigarettes from corn-husks; but this is a 
luxury in which the women do not indulge. The Pueblo mills are among 
the most interesting things about the town. These mills, which are fasten- 
ed to the floor a few feet from the wall, are rectangular in shape, and 
divided into a number of compartments, each about twenty inches wide 
and deep, the whole series ranging from five to ten feet in length, accord- 
ing to the number of divisions. The walls are made of sand stone. In 
each compartment a flat grinding stone is firmly set, inclining at an angle of 
forty-five degrees. These slabs are of different degress of smoothness 
graduated successively from coarse to fine. The squaws, who alone work 
at the mills, kneel before them and bend over them as a laundress does 
over the wash-tub, holding in their hands long stones of volcanic lava, 


which they rub up and down the slanging slabs, stopping at intervals to 
place the grain between the stones. As the grinding proceeds the grist is 
passed from one compartment to the next until, in passing through the 
series, it becomes of the desired fineness. Tnis tedious and laborious 
method has been practiced without improvement from time immemorial, 
and in some of the arts the Zunians have actually retrograded. 

The Spanish account is earlier and better, and we shall 
therefore close with quoting from Mendoza, who says: 

Most of . the houses are reached from the flat roof, using their 
ladders to go to the streets. The stories are mostly half as high again as a 
man, except the first one which is low and little more than a man's height. 
One ladder is used to communicate with ten or twelve houses together. 
They make use of the low ones and live in the highest ones; in the lowest 
ones of all they have loop-holes made sideways, as in the fortresses of 
Spain. The Indians say that when the people are attacked they station 
themselves in their houses and fight from there. When they go to war 
they carry shields and wear leather jackets which are made of cow's hide 
colored, and they fight with arrows and with a sort of stone maul, and with 
some other weapons made of sticks. They eat human flesh and keep those 
whom they capture in war as slaves. In their houses they keep hairy animals 
(vicunas?) like the large Spanish hounds, which they shear, and they make 
long colored wigs from the hair, which they wear, and they also put the 
same stuff in the cloth which they make. The men are of small stature; 
the women are light-colored and of good appearance and they wear 
chemises which reach down to their feet; they wear their hair on each side, 
done up in a sort of twist, which leaves their ears outside, in which hang 
many turquoises as well as on their neck and arms. The clothing of the 
men is a cloak, and over this the skin of a cow; they wear caps on their 
heads; in summer they wear shoes made of painted or colored skin, and 
high buskins in winter. They cultivate the ground the same way as in 
New Spain. They carry things on their heads as in Mexico. The men 
weave cloth and spin cotton; they have salt from the marshy lake which is 
two days from Cibola. The Indians have their dances and songs with 
some flutes, which have holes on which to put the fingers; they make much 
noise; they sing in unison with those who play, and those who sing clap 
their hands in our fashion. They say that five or six play together, and 
that some of the flutes are better than others. . . . The food which they 
eat in this country is corn, of which they have a great abundance, and 
beans and venison, which thev probably eat (although they say that they do 
not), because we found many skins of deer and hares and rabbits. They 
make the best corn cakes I have ever seen anywhere, and this is what 
everybody ordinarily eats. They have the very best arrangement and 
machinery for grinding that was ever seen. One of these Indian women 

here will grind as much as four of the Mexicans I send you 

a cow skin, some turquoises, and two earrings of the same, and fifteen of 
the Indian combs, and some plates decorated with these turquoises, and 
two baskets made of wicker, of which the Indians have a large supply. I 
also send two rolls, such as the women usually wear on their heads when 
they bring water from the spring, the same way they do in Spain. These 
Indian women, with one of these rolls on her head, will carry a jar of water 
up a ladder without touching it with her hands. And, lastly, I send you 
samples of the weapons with which the natives fight, a shield, a hammer, 
and a bow and some arrows, among which there are two with bone points, 
the like of which have never been seen. 



In treating of the Cliff-Dwellers, we have thus far given 
much more attention to the architectural structures than we 
have to their relics, for we find in them distinguishing traits, 
which enable us to identify the culture, progress and history 
of this peculiar people. There are, however, some advantages 
in studying the relics of the Cliff-Dwellers and making them a 
source of information, about their history and social status; 
the chief of which is that the relics are now gathered into 
museums and subjected to the inspection of all the visitors, 
and so presented to the public that specialists have an oppor- 
tunity of studying them at their leisure. 

Great care will, however, be necessary to distinguish these 
relics from those of the wild tribes who have continued to 
dwell in that vicinity since the departure of the Cliff-Dwellers, 
and who have left their relics mingled near the ancient habita- 
tions, and sometimes in the very midst of the ruins. This is 
not always easy to do, for there is far more similarity between 
the relics of the two classes of people, than between the struc- 
tures; the structures having been made of entirely different 
material, wood and bark used by the wild tribes, but stone 
andadobe by the Cliff-Dwellers; while the relicsof thewild tribes 
and Cliff-Dwellers were made of all kinds of materials wood, 
stone, shells, bones and pottery, and it is difficult to distinguish 
between those of one class and those of another. It is hardly 
expected that the ordinary observer will be able to distinguish 
between these relics as they are gathered into museums and col- 
lections, and say which belonged to the wild hunters, who have 
continued to roam in the same region, and which to the Cliff- 
Dwellers, nor can it be expected that he will be able todistinguish 
between the pottery and other relics of modern Pueblos and the 
ancient people; yet it is important that this should be done, for 
by this means, do we determine the difference between the 
condition of the later and that of the earlier and less known 

We may say that the early explorers who visited the pueblos, 
and especially those who went into the midst of the cliff 
dwellings, were more careful than some of the later explorers 
and relic hunters, and were able not only to distinguish between 
the two classes the ancient and modern, but also able to 
point out the tribal distinctions by examination of the weapons, 
implements, peculiarities of dress and ornaments, and say 
whether they belonged to Utes, Navajos, Mojaves, Pimas, 
Papagoes, or other tribes which roamed through the region 
after the American explorations began. 


It is not expected that any ordinary white man will be as 
discriminating as the aborigines are themselves, tor this would 
require almost a life-time of familiarity with the relics and long 
training, for which few have the opportunity. Still, it is the 
work of the archaeologist to approximate this skill and learn to 
distinguish the relics which belong to the different tribes, 
whether found in the fields or gathered in the museums, and 
recognize the tribal lines and different periods represented by 
the specimens. Mr. Barber says: 

Each distinct Indian tribe possesses its individual characteristics and 
peculiarities, different from all others; and, although neighboring tribes may 
resemble each other in certain mutual, well-established customs, there are 
always minor points of difference in language, habits, the forms of warfare, 
or peculiarities of dress; and by these points an individual Indian may be 
recognized as belonging to a certain tribe, even should the observer be not 
sufficiently familiar with the savage physiognomy to class him by his facial 
characteristics. Among themselves, Indians possess a remarkable degree 
of discernment, being able to detect the most minute shades of difference 
in well-known objects, so that one can determine unerringly to what tribe 
another may have belonged, from the sight of a single impression of a 
moccasined foot in the soil. So great is their acuteness of vision and pro- 
ficiency in the interpretation of signs, that they readily distinguish objects 
and their kind at a great distance, when unaccustomed eyes can discover 
nothing. To the eye of the unexperienced in such matters, a stone arrow 
head, in whatever section of the West it may have been picked up, would 
present the appearance simply of an Indian relic; but when exposed to the 
gaze of a warrior, it is immediately recognized as having been used by a 
certain tribe. This is more wonderful for the reason that stone weapons 
have entirely disappeared from among them, The stone heads, which were, 
perhaps, fashioned more than half a century ago, being now replaced by 
iron-pointed arrows, fastened on the wooden shaft.* 

To these explorers great credit is due, not only on this ac- 
count, but because they carried on their explorations under great 
difficulties and amid danger of attacks from the wild tribes of 
savages. It is, however, worthy of notice that very few of 
these early explorers spent any time in digging for relics, and 
their finds were such as could easily be gathered from the 
midst of the cliff dwellings, while some of the later explorers 
spent more time in this way, and were able to bring away 
large and valuable collections. 

In giving the description of the Cliff-Dwellers' relics, we 
shall refer to these explorers and rely upon their testimony, 
especially that which relates to the difference between the 
relics of the Cliff-Dwellers and those of the wild tribes, and 
between the relics of the ancient Cliff-Dwellers and the modern 
Pueblos, and so make a double line of comparison. We shall 
first take the different districts which were occupied by the 
Cliff-Dwellers and notice the localities from which the relics 
were gathered, and learn from them about their distribution. 
We shall next consider the characteristics of the relics which 
were found in these districts, and compare them with those 
which belong to the Pueblos, and notice the changes which 

"Language and Utensils of the Modern Utes," by E. A. Barber. 





have appeared in them. We shall, in the last place, take the 
relics which belong to different regions, and which indicate 
different periods of occupation, and so find out the changes 
which occurred in the history of the Cliff-Dwellers themselves 
and recognize the different grades of culture which are mani- 
fest in the relics. 

I. We shall first speak of the distribution of the Cliff- 
Dwellers' relics. There are several distinct distiicts which may 
be ascribed to the Cliff-Dwellers, and from which Cliff-Dwellers' 
relics have been gathered. These districts may be classified in 
the order of their discovery, as follows : 

(i) Those situated along the San Juan, especially in the 
Mancos Cafton; (2) those on the Rio de Chelley; (3) those 
on the Rio Verde. To these should be added the relics from 
different districts where pueblos are situated, viz.: (4) The 
pueblos of the Tusayans; ( 5 ) the Zuni pueblo, including Acoma; 
(6) the pueblos on the Rio Grande from Taos to Socorro; (7) 
the cave dwellings in Potreros west of the Rio Grande, near 
Cochiti; (8) the region along the Gila and the valley of the 
Sonora. The relics from these different districts taken together, 
form a most unique and interesting series, and one worthy of 
study, for they indicate a condition of society and stage of art 
which is peculiar and which is found nowhere else.* 

The number of relics which have been gathered is astonish- 
ing. Nearly all the museums of this country abound wiih large 
collections, and yet the supply is by no means exhausted, for 
new localities are being constantly visited and the old and 
ruined pueblos are yielding new and interesting supplies. 

The cliff dwellings proper are all situated on the northern 
and western borders of the Pueblo region, but they are so near, 
that the relics gathered from them seem to partake of the same 
characteristics, though the ancient specimens shade into the 
modern, so that it is difficult to distinguish between the two. 
It is, however, the testimony of all that the corrugated and 
black and white ware are found in the caves and cliff dwellings 
and in the ruined pueblos, and indicate that a population once 
spread over the entire region, which used this kind of pottery 
almost exclusively. Much of the decorated pottery is of a 
later origin. 

i. We shall begin with the relics which were discovered in 
the vicinity of the San Juan and its tributaries, and especially 
those which were found in the Mancos Caflon. Various parties 
have entered this region and gathered relics from the cliff 
dwellings. Among these, we may mention first, the gentlemen 
who accompanied the Hayden survey in 1874 and 1876, viz.: 
Mr. W. II. Jackson, Mr.W. H. Holmes and Mr. E. A. Harberji 

This division of the territory from which relics have been gathered is about the same as that 
laid down in the map, as indicating the diffieient clusters or groups of cliff dwelling* and pueblo*, 
though thre is no attempt to indicate the tribal lines. 

+ Their reports are attended with various cuts which give an idea of the stone relies, pottery 
and its decorations! We take pleasure in referring to these cut*. 



next Mr. F. H. Chapin, of Hartford, and Dr. Birdsall, of New 
York City, who between 1890 and 1893 explored the ruins in 
Mancos Canon, and who published descriptions of the relics 
and the cliff dwellings in various publications, among which, 
the chief was THE AMERICAN ANTIQUARIAN T . Mr. Chapin 
also published a book called, "The Land of the Cliff- 
Dwellers." This contains a map of the Mesa Verde region,* 
with the canons plainly marked upon it; also, a large 
number of photographic views of the cliff dwellings and their 
relics. The next to enter the field was Mr. Nordenskjold, who 
spent considerable time measuring and surveying the cliff- 
dwellings and excavating for relics, and who afterwards pub- 
lished in Stockholm, Sweden, a magnificent work, in quarto form, 
which was written in English and Swedish and contained many ; 



photographic plates. The other parties in the field about the 
same time, who were collecting relics for exhibition at the 
World's Fair, spent their time mainly in a general ransacking 
of the region for relics, and made no note of the particular 
locality from which they were taken. These collections are 
not without value, for they contain many rare specimens of 
decorated pottery, also, many wooden implements, specimens 
of textile fabrics, a large number of stone relics, many mum- 
mied skeletons, which showed the physical characteristics of 
the Cliff-Dwellers themselves. Their collections were valuable 
in awakening attention to the Cliff-Dwellers, and giving many 

* This map shows the location of the ruins of Aztec Springs, described by Holmes, Jackson 
ar>d Barber; also of the Cliff House described by Nordenskjold; also of the Sandal Cliff House 
in Azcowitz Canyon, near which the Wetherells gathered so many relics. 


new ideas to the specialist; but they can not be relied upon, 
inasmuch as they were not accompanied with any definite 
descriptions, and the localities of the finds still remain uncertain. 

It was through the unscientific collectors that certain relics 
which evidently belong to Ute Indians, and consist of rude wil- 
low cradles and wooden slings with cotton cord attached to 
them, have found their way into museums and are placed along- 
side of Cliff -Dwellers' relics, because they were gathered from 
near cliff dwellings. We may say, however, that the relics 
which were gathered by the Wetherell Brothers, and which were 
placed in the museum in Denver, were much more carefully 
exhumed, and, perhaps, can be pronounced as genuine Cliff- 
Dwellers' relics. 

The following is the description of them by Mr. F. H. 
Chapin. He says : 

They commenced their excavations in the first cliff house in Mancos 
Canyon, called "Sandal Cliff House." They followed up the digging, and 
were very successful. They discovered one hundred sandals, some in good 
condition, others old and worn out; a string of beads; a pitcher full of 
squash seeds, and a jug with pieces of string passing through the handles. 
This jug was filled with corn, well shelled, with the exception of two ears. 
They excavated a perfect skeleton, with even some ol the toe nails remain- 
ing; it had been buried with care in a grave, two and one-half feet wide, six 
feet long and twenty inches deep. A stone wall was upon one side, and 
the bottom of the grave was finished with smooth clay. The body lay with 
the head to the south, and face to the west. It was wrapped in a feather 
cloth, and then laid in matting. Buried with it was a broken jar, a very small 
unburned cup, a piece of string made from hair, and one wooden needle. 

Next to the wall mentioned above, was found the body of an infant, 
which was dried and well preserved, like a mummy. It was wrapped in 
thin cloth, that was once feather cloth, and encasing all was willow matting, 
tied securely with yucca strings.* 

2. The relics which were gathered from the Rio de Chelley 
are next to be considered. This region was visited successively 
by General Simpson in 1849, Mr. W. H. Jackson in 1876, Mr. 
F. T. Bickford in 1890, and Mr. Cosmos Mindeleff in 1895. The 
cliff dwellings were measured and the relics described. The 
Navajos were the occupants of the region, but they dwell in 
hogans or huts. They were formerly hunters, but are now shep- 
herds. They have no permanent villages, though they cultivate 
the soil in the valleys during the summer, and during the winter 
make their homes in the mountains. They are known as a 
strong, athletic and finely-formed tribe, and are distinguished for 
their skill in blanket weaving and in the manufacture of metal 
relics, and especially for their wonderful sand paintings. Their 
pottery is of an inferior character, and their relics, though 
superior tc those of the Utes, are not as varied or as well 
wrought as those of the Cliff-Dwellers, who preceded them. 
It is comparatively easy to draw the line between the two 
classes, for the earlier people were agriculturists and led a 
sedentary life, and their pottery and relics were such as the agri- 

" The Land of the Cliff-Dwellers," by F. H. C'hapin; page 160. 



cultural people of the entire region were accustomed to use. 
The distinction between the two classes of people may also be 
recognized in the traditions which are still extant. 

The Navajos have a very remarkable myth or tradition, 
called the " Mountain Chant," which describes the introduction 
of sand painting. It contains a description of the adventures 
of a hunter, who was taken captive by a Ute; every part of the 
story has reference to tents of hunters and to the experiences 
which hunters have among the mountains, and the haunts of 
the animals, with which hunters become familiar. No such 
myth exists among the Pueblos,- for all of their mythology is 
connected with the scenes of agriculture, and their ceremonies 


have reference to nature powers and the rain gods, rather than 
the mountain divinities. The relics and pottery ornaments con- 
tain symbols which illustrate the two classes of myths. 

3. The cliff dwellings of the Rio Verde were first brought 
to light by the guide Leroux, who attended Colonel Ewbank in 
his explorations in 1849. They were afterwards visited by Dr. 
W. J. Hoffman in 1877, anc * Dr. Edgar A. Mearns in 1884 and 
1890; and those at Red Bank not far from the Rio Verde were 
visited by Mr, J. Walter Fewkes in 1895. 

It was in this vicinity that Dr. Hoffman discovered Monte- 
zuma Castle and the remarkable depression in the rocks which 
is called Montezuma Wells. In both of these localities the 
Cliff-Dwellers evidently made their homes, for there are many 
caves and ruined cliff dwellings, which indicate long periods of 


occupation. The especial attraction of the latter place was the 
bountiful supply of water from the so-called wells. The 
description by Dr. Hoffman is as follows: 

Montezuma Wells is so called from the fact that it is an oblong depres- 
sion, about sixty or seventy feet deep, having perpendicular walls, at the 
bottom of which is a deep spring or clear water. The excavation is about 
100 yards in its greatest diameter, and about sixty yards in its lesser. 
There is but one point from which a descent can be made, and which pass- 
age is guarded by small cliff dwellings. In the various depressions, these 
small habitations are located, giving the place a very singular appearance. 
From the base of the depression on the eastern side, there is a narrow and 
low tunnel, leading out to banks of Beaver Creek a distance of about sixty 
or eighty feet. The settlement within this natural enclosure was, no doubt, 
a retreat in times of danger, as the sloping surface receding from it is cov- 
ered with ruins of former structures, over the remains of which, and 
throughout considerable surface beyond, the soil is covered with numerous 
fragments of beautifully glazed and incised pottery. Flint and carnelian 
flakes, weapons and other remains occur in considerable quantities. The 
land surrounding this locality is excellent for agricultural purposes, and it 
appears to have been at one time under cultivation. Wherever one turns, 
scattered pieces of pottery are visible; giving either proof of a very large 
settlement, or one that lasted for many years. 

They were almost identical in form, style and material with 
those which Mr. Gushing obtained from the Casa Grande of the 
Salt River. There were certain relics which show that the 
social status was essentially the same. He says : 

The walled buildings are of two kinds those occupying natural hollows 
or cavities, and those built in exposed situations. The former, whose walls 
are protected by sheltering cliffs, are sometimes found in almost as perfect 
a state of preservation as when deserted by the builders, unless the torch 
has been applied. The latter, of Pueblo style of architecture, usually occu- 
pying high points and commanding a wide extent of country, are in a 
ruined state, although the walls are commonly standing to the height of one 
or more stories, with some of the timbers intact. 

Another, and very common form of dwelling, is the caves, which are 
excavated in the cliffs by me; ns of stone picks or other implements. They 
are found in all suitable localities that are contiguous to water and good 
agricultural land, but are most numerous in the vicinity of large casas 
grandes. Most of them are in limestone cliffs, as the substratum of sand- 
stone is not as commonly exposed in the canyons and cliffs, but many cavate 
dwellings are in sandstone. 

The additional remains observed by me are mounds in the vicinity of 
ancient dwellings, extensive walls of stone and mortar, large quantities of 
stone implements and fragments of broken pottery, acecjuias or irrigating 
ditches, ancient burial grounds, and hieroglyphic inscriptions on stones and 
cliffs the last two to be doubtfully referred to the cliff-dwellers. 

4 and 5. The relics from the Tusayan Pueblos, as well as 
those from Zuni, have been described by nearly all the explorers, 
Golonel Simpson, W. H. Holmes, F. H. Gushing, James Steven- 
son, J. Walter Fewkes and others. Mr. Holmes has described 
those gathered from near St. George, Utah, nearly 300 miles 
west of the Rio Mancos. He says : 

The most notable collection of coiled ware ever yet made in any one 
locality is from a dwelling site tumulus, near this place. The shapes of 
the corrugated relics are of the simplest kinds. The prevailing forms 




correspond very closely with the Cliff House specimen illustated in the cut. 
The region now inhabited by the Pubelo tribes, seems to have been a favor- 
ite residence of ancient people. Ruins and remains of ceramic art may be 
found at any time, and it is a common thing to find ancient vessels in the 
possession of Pueblo Indians. This is especially true of the Zunis and 
Moquis, from whom considerable collections have been obtained. It seems 

unaccountable that so large 
a number of ancient vessels 
should be preserved, but 
many have been picked up 
by the later Pueblo tribes 
and put away for special use, 
or, probably, as heirlooms. 
Besides the archaic white 
ware and its closely asso- 
ciated red; the Prov- 
ence of Tusayan furnishes 
two or three distinct varie- 
ties, which are apparently 
confined to limited districts. 
There are few better ex- 
amples of the skill and 
good taste of the ancient 
potter than a bowl, the 
upper part of which is 
painted a bright red, bor- 
dered in black, with fine 
white stripes, a globular 
vase, with an ornamented 
surface, separated into two parts by vertical panels. A vessel, shown above, 
is from the Tusayan province. The whole decoration consists of interlink* d 
meander united; not arranged in belts, but thrown together in a careless 
manner across the body of the vase. A superb vessel is a typical example 
of the work of the ancient potters of Cibola. In form it falls a little short 
of perfect symmetry. A similar vase from Zuni is illustrated in the cata- 
logue. The ornament consists of three zones, a band of step figures about 
the neck, the handsome meander chain with twisted links upon the 
rounded collar, and a broad band of radiating meanders encircling the 

6 and 7. In reference to the relics from the Rio Grande, 
from the caves among the Potreros, and from the pueblos on 
the Chaco, Mr. A. F. Bandelier has furnished the most 
information. He says : 

The pottery is mostly evenly glazed. The potsherds are of the older 
kind black with white decorated lines, and corrugated. 

There were three distinct epochs of occupation, the most recent of which 
was by the Queres. On the Rio Grande, in the vicinity of Bernalillo, the pot- 
tery is of the glazed type and with decorations; but the common cooking 
pottery plain black was also well represented. Much obs'dian, moss 
agate, chips of flint and lava, broken metals, and a few bits of turquoise 
were the other objects lying on the surface. The pottery of the Chaco ruins 
decidedly of the ancient type, and no specimen of glazed ornamentation has 
been found in that vicinity. In the valley of San Mateo, the specimens of 
pottery were very remarkable. 

I was greatly surprised, however, at seeing the specimens of pottery 
which the excavations had yielded. I can safely assert that, in beauty and 
originality of decoration, they surpass anything which I have seen north, 
west and east of it in the Rio Grande valley and around the Salines. There 

Fourth Aunual Report Ethnological Bureau," pp. 333-345. 


were among them bowls of indented pottery, one-half of their exterior 
being smooth and handsomely painted and decorated with combinations of 
the well-known symbols of Pueblo Indian worship. On another specimen, 
I noticed handles in the shape of animal heads. Such specimens are quite 
rare. The shape of the vessels did not differ from those which other ruins 
and even the Pueblos of to-day afford. It was only the decoration, and 
especially, the painting, that attracted my attention. Mr. Lummis speaks 
of other objects shell beads, stone axes, hammers, metals and arrow heads. 

8. As to the relics on the Gila, Mr. Bandelier says: 

The pottery on the upper Gila is like that which I found on the Rio 
Grande at San Uiego. It is different from the pottery of the Salines, and 
has marked resemblance to potsherds from eastern Arizona and especially 
those Irom the Sierra Madre, Casa Grandes in Chihuahua, although better 
in material and more elaborately decorated with a 
greater variety of shades, the same fundamental pat- 
terns underlie the decorations, as in Utah, Colorado, 
New Mexico, and on the Rio Grande; in short, every- 
where where Pueblos are found . It is Pueblo pottery, 
in the widest sense of the term, as well as in its nar- 
rowest acceptance. The basis for the decoration is 
always the well-known religious symbols of Pueblo 
ritual, only more elaborately and tastefully combined 
;md modified. We recognize the clouds, the earth, 
rain, the ''double line of life," but there is a progress 
in execution, as well as in combination of the figures. WATER JAR. 

Only near Casas Grandes do we find a decided im- 
provement in the form of the hand-mills or metates.. Those on the Mimbres 
;tnd its vicinity are as rude as any further south. The same maybe said of 
mortars and pestles, which are sometimes decorated with attempts at the 
carving of animal forms. Trinkets and fetiches seem to be the same every- 
where as far as latitude of 29. Of textile fabrics, cotton has not been 
found on the upper Gila, as far as I know, but the yucca has played a great 
role in dress and fictile work. Mats of yucca, plaited kilts of the same 
material, resembling those described as worn by the Zunis three centuries 
ago, sandals and yucca thread (pita) have been found in sheltered ruins. 
In a cave village on the upper Gila, I noticed a piece of rabbit fur twisted 
around a core of yucca thread. Of such strips the rabbit mantles of the 
Moquis, wbich Fray Marcos heard of, and was, of course, unable to under- 
stand, were made, and are made at this day. Turquoise beads are not un- 
frequently met with, associated with shell beads.f 

II. We turn from the subject of the distribution of relics, 
to consider their characteristics. We have already said that 
the relics of the Cliff Dwellers resemble those of the Pueblos 
of the more ancient type. Together they constitute a very 
unique series. They are, in fact, as unique as are the relics of 
the Lake Dwellings in Switzerland, but instead of belonging to 
the borders of the neolithic and bronze age, as they do, they 
constitute a subdivision of the neolithic age. The relics of the 
Mound-Builders make a subdivision "on the one side, and 
those of Mexico and the far southwest a subdivision on the 
other side. The relics from the tribes 'of the northwest and 
those of the Canadian tribes of the northeast, also make other 
subdivisions of the same age. The Cliff-Dwellers' relics are so 

The ornamentation and shape of this vessel show much taste. 

t I 'a per of the Archaeological Institute of America Ameiican Series , 1899; pp. 350-351; by 
A. V. Bandelier. 


marked in their characteristics that they can be easily recog- 
nized in any museum or large collection, even if they are not 
placed in separate rooms. 

They are very instructive, as they suggest a stage of pro- 
gress and cultural condition which was distinctive. 'Ihey indi- 
cate a peaceful and sedentary life, as a large number of them 
consist of implements which were used in industrial pursuits; 
the pottery exceeding in number and interest, all other speci- 
mens. They may be divided into several classes, as follows: 
i. Those which were made of stone, whether used as weapons 
of war, for industrial pursuits, or for domestic purposes. 2. 
Those which were wrought from wood, the most of them 
being implements which were used in agriculture; others, arti- 
cles used for weaving and other domestic purposes. 3. Those 
which were made of shell, turquoise, and other material, and 
used for personal ornament. 4. The pottery which is found 


in great quantities, great varieties of shape, and in many pat- 
terns. 5. Textile fabrics, which are of two or three classes: ( i ) 
Those made from wood, such as willow and bark; (2) those 
made from yucca and other plants especially cotton; (3) those 
made from feathers and skins of animals. It will be interest- 
ing to take up these different classes of relics and examine 
them in turn. 

I. We begin with the stone relics which were used for 
ordinary purposes, and mention first those discovered near the 
cliff dwellings of the San Juan. There are many weapons of 
war and the chase among the relics, such as arrow heads, spears, 
lance heads, darts, battle axes, tomahawks and arrow polishers 
or straigtheners. Mr. Barber says: 

The great number of war arrows are undoubtedly of Ute origin, having 
been projected into the midst of the ancient towns, but some, at least, are 
the productions 'of the beseiged, although they were eminently a peaceful 


people. We would not expect to discover these weapons of the Pueblo 
race, however, immediately under the walls of their own buildings but 
rather further out on the plains. The majority of our specimens were 
found in the close neighborhood of the mural remains. 

It is undisputable that great battles have been fought here. 
Among the relics of battles are the barbed arrow heads, which 
were used as missiles; many of which were probably shot from 
the loop hole forts by the warriors who were stationed there to 
watch against the approach of enemies. The arrow heads are 
particularly noticeable on account of their delicacy, perfection, 
symmetry, diminutiveness and exquisite coloring. We first 
find them varying from less than half an inch in length to three 
inches. The materials are of agate, jasper, chalcedony, flint, 
carnelian, quartz, sandstone, obsedian. si'icified and agatized 
wood. Sometimes we find a beautiful transparent amber-colored 
chalcedony specimen; again, a flesh-colored 
arrow head made of agatized wood; and 
another of a pea-green tint, red jasper, flint 
of every shade and color- According to 
form, they may be classified into nine divis- 
ions: (i) leaf shaped; (2) triangular; (3) in 
dented at the base; (4) stemmed; (5) barbed; 
(6) beveled; (7) diamond shaped; (8) oval 
shaped; (9) shape of a serpent's head. The 
leaf shaped occur more numerously at a dis- 
tance from the ruins on the plains, where 
they have been employed in the slaying of 
game, but the barbed near the cliff dwellings. 
The smaller variety of axes may have been 
used as tomahawks. Household implements 
were more widely distributed than the AXE 

weapons. They were scattered through all 
the ruins; the majority crudely made, but some of them 
smoothly polished and ground to a cutting edge. A number 
of forms of hammers and mauls were discovered, varying in 
weight from a few ounces to twenty-five pounds. They were 
usually made of compact sandstone, and were cylindrical with 
the groove of the handle extending around the circumference 
at one end. The heavy mauls must have required more than 
one pair of hands to wield them. Some of the hammers were 
ovoid, with the groove extending around the centre, so that 
either side could be used at will. 

Numerous serrated implements were picked up among the debris of 
the ruins, of different sizes and forms, which were evidently intended for 
s.iwuiir. The fragments of some indicated that the entire instrument had 
been several inches in length, and one inch or so broad. One, however, 
was a circular stone, of a bright green color, in which the entire circumfer- 
ence (with the exception of a small arc) had been toothed or chipped. This 
was probably used in the same manner as the straight saws, being held 
between the finsrer and the thumb. 

Chisels, awls, borers and rimmers o~cur in abundance. The chisels or 


pointed tools were probably used in chipping out hieroglyphics. The awls, 
borers and rimmers were employed in perforating skins, wood, stone, etc. 

Stone mortars are rare in a state of entirety, yet we found many frng 
ments scattered over the plains and through the canyons. The prevailing 
material seems to have been sandstone Pestles are very rarely seen. 
However in the Moqui village, I observed seveial stone moriars. some eight 
or ten inches in diameter, \\ ith their accompanying pestles, which had been 
placed on the house tops; and I was told that they had not been in use for 
many years, having descended with many old stone implements from the 
forefathers of the trbe, 

One of the most common objects to be found in and about the crumb- 
ling buildings is the millstone or metate, and with it the corn grinder. Lieut. 
Emory says of the ancient remains along the Gila River : ' Theimplements 
for grinding corn, and the broken pottery, were the only vestiges of the 
mechanical arts which we saw amongst the ruins, with the exception of a 
tew ornaments, principally immense well-turned beads, the size of a hen's 


Mr. Nordenskjold discovered 'stone relics among the cliff 
dwellings which should be classed with the implements and 
weapons. At Mug House he found skinning knives made of 
quartzite, also drills and stone axes;' at Kodak House, a flint 
knife of black slate, arrow head and spear head, scalper, a metate 
made of brown sandstone, large stone hammer, a large rough- 
hewn circular mortar, rounded stones used for grinding, and 
long flat disks of wood, baskets of woven yucca, made water 
tight and coated on the inside; gourds and squashes, mats made 
of withes split and held together by cords of yucca, snow 
shoes and pieces of cotton cloth. 

For the sake of comparison, we turn to the stone relics of 
the Pueblos, They were mainly relics designed for industrial 
and domestic purposes. They consist of hammers, mauls, 
stone axes, knives, saws, chisels, darts, rimmers, borers, scrapers 

'" American Naturalist," 1877. 



or' rleshers, mortars, pestles, mill stones, metates, grinders, 
arrow polishers, perforated stones for drawing out sinew, 
gauges, and pounders. These resemble the stone relics found 
in other parts of the country, and especially those found 
among the Pueblos. 

A very large collection of them has been gathered in the 
National Museum. Catalogues have been published at differ- 
ent times. That which was prepared in 1879 by Mr. James 
Stevenson, and published in 1881, is, perhaps, the earliest and 
most reliable. We give a plate* on which the axes are repre- 
sented, taken from this report. Of these, Mr. Stevenson says:f 

No. 42257 is a grooved axe of basalt, the only specimen of this par- 
ticular form in the collection. 

No. 42208 is a large stone celt of 
coarse san istone, shaped like a wedge. 
It is about ten inches long, has four 
flat sides, and may have been a 
grinder. Its surface is quite rough 
and pitted. 

No. 42337 is a grooved maul of 
compact sandstone, almost round. 
Several such specimens were col- 
lected. 'They have been better pre- 
served than the axes, as their shape 
adapts them to grinding food, hence 
they were not used for splitting or 

No.42213 isa water-worn boulder 
of quar;.zite, grooved around the 

The axes on the plate are of the 
ordinary form, and show much use. 
The metate, shown on page 304, is of 
the ordinary kind. Many such mills or 
metates are found in nearly every 
pueblo. The different apartments 
were designed to hold the meal as 
it grew finer under the grinding 
process. Mortars and pestles are also common. 


Mr. Stevenson described a paint mortar, gathered at Zuni, 
with a pestle made from a quartz pebble; another, made of 
sandstone, with a square pestle, designed to move backward 
and forward, instead of up and down and around. Another 
mortar is represnted in the cut with a pestle inside of the mor- 
tar. The pestle has a pit hole in its side, which was designed 
to hold the pigment after it was ground, which was used with a 
brush for decorative purposes. The cup and pestle were found 
together. Besides these relics, there are many idols, or images, 
which represent the fetiches, or gods, of the Pueblos. These 
are made in the shape of animals, such as the wolf, bear, 
panther, eagle and mole. They sometimes have arrows bound to 

See page 2!t-~. 'I lie numbers refer to the catalogue number of the museum. 
{See Second Annual Report Bureau Ethnology, 1881, pp. 330-465. 



them.* They form an interesting series which show the religious 
superstition of the people. The plate, which is taken from the 
Report of .the Ethnological Bureau 1881, illustrates this. Mr. 
Gushing has described them and their uses. 

2. All of the explorers have spoken of the mechanical tools 
which are found among the cliff dwellings, though some of them 
were at a loss to know to what use they were put. Mr. Holmes 
described a series of relics which were discovered in the cliff 
dwellings of Mancos Canon, some of which were wood and 
stone, and a few of shell, and gives a cut to illustrate them, 
lie says: 

This cut contains drawings 
of a number of stone imple- 
ments, arrow heads, ornaments, 
and other articles manufactured 
or used by the ancient inhabi- 
tants of this region. Nearly all 
were found so associated with 
the architectural remains, that 
I do not hesitate to assign 
them to the same period. 

No. I represents a small 
fragment of rush matting. A 
large piece of which was found 
on the floor of one of the cliff 
houses of the Rio Mancos. It 
was manufactured from a species 
of rush, that grovs somewhat 
plentifully along the Mancos 

No. 2 represents a bundle of 
small sticks, - probably nsed in 
playing some game. They are 
nearly a foot : n length, and have 
been sharpened at one end by 
scraping and grinding. They 
were found in one of the cliff 
houses of the Mancos, buried 
beneath a pile of rubbish. The 
bit of cord, v'ith which they 
were tied, is made of a flax-like 
fiber, carefully twisted and wrap- 
ped with coarse strips of yucca 
bark; beside this, a number of 
short pieces of rope of different 
sizes were found, that in beauty 
and strength would do credit to any people. The fiber is a little coarser and 
lighter than flax, and was probably obtained from a species of yucca, which 
grows everywhere in the southwest. 

No. 3 is a very perfect specimen of stone implement, found buried in a 
bin of charred corn in one of the Mancos Cliff houses.* It is 8 inches in 
length, and 2 l / 2 inches broad at the broadest part; its greatest thickness is 
only }A inch. One face is slightly convex, while the other is nearly flat 
The sides are neatlv and uniformly rounded, and the edge is quite sharp* 


2^afw^V jr -,f> ., \ , ,, _.^5 



See Report Ethnological Bureau, 1880, Voli II., p. 27; "Book on Myths and Symbols;" 

* Specimens of this kind of celt or flesher are very numerous among the Cliff-Dwellers. 
Mr. Nordenskjold has described several as found in Cliff Palace and other localities. The 
arrow heads illustrate the different shapes which are described by Mr. E. A. Barber. 


It is made of a very hard, 'fine-grained, siliceous slate; is gray in color, and 
has been ground into shape and polished in a most masterly manner. 
Although its use is not positively determined, it belongs, in all probabitity, 
to a class of implements called " scrapers," which are employed by most 
savage tribes in the dressing of skins. This specimen may have been used 
for other purposes, but certainly not for cntting or striking, as the metal is 
very brittle, The most conclusive proof of its use, is the appearance of the 
edge, which shows just such markings as would be produced by rubbing or 
scraping a tough, sinewy surface. 

No. 4 represents a part of a metate or millstone. The complete imple- 
ment consists of two parts a large block of stone with a concave surface, 
upon which the maize is placed, and a carefully 
dressed, but coarse grained slab of stone for grind- 
ing. This slab is generally from eight to twelve 
inches long by three to six inches wide, and from one 
to two inches thick. The specimen illustated is 
made of black cellular basalt, and was found, with 
many others, at the ruined pueblo near Ojo Calcinte, 
New Mexico. 

No. 5 is a very much worn specimen of stone 
axe, which was found at an ancient ruin near Abiquiu, 
New Mexico. It is made of light colored chloritic 
schist, and measures two inches in width by three in 

No. 6 and 6a are specimens of ear ornaments, 
such as are found in connection with very many of 
the ruins of southern Colorado, These are made of 
fine-grained gray slate, only moderately well polished, 
one measured an inch and a quarter in length. 

No. 7 represents a marine shell of the genus 
Olivella, obtained probably from the Pacific coast. 
Large numbers of this and allied shells are found 
about these ruins. They are generally pierced, and 
were doubtless used as beads. 

No. 8 represents a small carved figure found on 
the Rio Mancos. It is made of gray slate. Its use 
or meaning can not be determined. 

No. Q represents a stone ring, five-eighths ot an 
inch in diametar, and pnobably intended for the finger. 
It is made of hard gray slate; is shaped like the usual 
plain gold ring, and is quite symmetrical. 

No. 10 represents arrow heads which were found 
associated with nearly every ruin examined. They 
present a great variety of form; some of the more 
striking of these are given in the cut. The materials 
used in their manufacture are principally the more 
beautiful varieties of obsidian, jasper and agate.* WOODEN SHOVEL.f 

Mr. Stevenson has described certain wooden relics from the 
Zuni pueblos. One of them is an ordinary shovel, which was 
used to shovel the snow off the roofs; another is the bow and 
drill, which was used for drilling stone A cut is also given, in 
which a native is represented as sitting upon a Navajo blanket, 
dressed in the usual costume now worn by the Zunis, drilling a 
hole in a turquoise. The cut illustrates the manner in which 
the drill was used.J 

*".\ Notice of the Ancient Remains of Southwestern Colorado Examined During the 
Summer of 1875," by W. H. Holmes; pp. 23 and 14. 
fl'his relic is from the Zuni Pueblo. 
J Third Annual Report Bureau Ethnology, p. 589. 



3. The personal adornments of the Cliff-Dwellers are 
worthy of notice. They may be classed according to material, 
as follows: Bead ornaments made from shells or earthernware; 
necklaces made from bone, horn, stone, claws and teeth of 
animals; ear pendants of turquoise; feather head dresses; 
woven sashes; fringes of fur, and tassels of fur and fibre. The 
following description is by Mr. E. A. Barber: 

The marine shells were converted into beads by the ancient tribes, but 

they are valued highly by the present Navajo Indians, who were constantly 

grubbing about the old buildings and adjacent graves in search of these 

trinkets, which accounts in same manner for their great scarcity in the ruins 

to-day. They were undoubtedly obtained by the ancients from other tribes, 

which brought them all the shells from which 

they were fashioned from the Pacific coast. 

Ot the second class of ornaments, many are 
found among the heaps of ancient pottery which 
surround all the ruined buildings. A small piece 
of pottery, generally of the best glazed and 
painted ware, is taken and the edges ground 
down to a rectangular or circular foim, from a 
% inch to \y z inches in length. The circular 
specimens have perforations in the centre; the 
square, have holes near one end. 

The turquoises were obtained from the 
Los Cerillos Mountains in New Mexico, south- 
east of Santa Fe. Here is a quarry which was 
worked before the arrival of the Spaniards, and 
it was here, undoubtedly, that the ancient (Miff- 
Dwellers obtained their turquoises Here, 
probably, the Moquis, Pueblos and Zunis pro- 
cured the turquoises mentioned by the Friar 
Marco de Nica in i53Q> and by Coronadoin 1540. 
Marco de Nica wrote: 'They have emeralds and 
other jewels, although they esteem none so 
much as turquoises, wherewith they adorn the 
walls of the porches of their houses and their 
apparel and mules. They use them instead of 
money all through the country. The last class 
of bead ornaments or pendants were made of 
stone or silcified wood, and were used as ear- 
rings or necklaces, They vary from halt an 
inch to two inches in length. They were sus- 
pended from either circular ear drops or from 
the front of necklaces. Such ornaments are 
still worn among the Mojaves, Moquis and 
Zunis.' * 

Mr. Bandelier says : 

RATTLE AND CLAPPER.f Turquoise beads and ear pendants, asso- 

ciated with shell beads, are not unfrequently met 
with at Casas Grandes in Chihuahua. In central 

Arizona copper has been found on the upper and lower Salado. I have 
seen many turquoise beads, and ear pendants of turquoises precisely like 
those worn by the Pueblo Indians, to-day; also shell beads and many shells 
entire, as well as broken and perforated. The following species have been 
identified from the copies made by me in colors: Turritella Broderipiana. 
a species from the Pacific coast; Conus regulari,{rom the West Indies, and 
a Columbella, locality not given. All the univalves found at Casas Grandes, 

"American Naturalist," 1877. 

relic is fiom the Zuni Pueblo. 



as far as I know, are marine shells. The finding of such shells at a point 
so far away from the sea coast and nearly equidistant from the gulfs of 
Mexico and of California, is a remarkable feature, implying a primitive 
commerce, or inter tribal warfare, which carried the objects to the inland 
pueblo at Casas Grandes.* 

4. The pottery from the cliff dwellings is next to bex:on- 
sidered. It is worthy of notice that the coiled and corrugated 
pottery and lhat in black and white are found in great abund- 
ance in nearly all of the cliff dwellings those on the Mancos, 
Rio de Chelley, Rio Verde and on the Rio Grande and are 
regarded as the oldest of all. There are specimens of pottery 
in red and various colors and with 
different patterns found among the 
Pueblos. This would indicate that 
the Cliff- Dwellers were older than 
the Pueblos, and that the stage of 
culture similar to theirs had spread 
throughout the entire region; but at 
a later date, though preceding the 
advent of the Spaniards, a new style 
was introduced. The proof of this 
is seen in the recent explorations by 
J. Walter Fewkes among the ruins of 
Sikyatki and among the Hopi 
Pueblos. The pottery which he dis- 
covered was of quite a different style 
and color from that of the Cliff- 
Dwellers, and contains many very 
interesting mythologic figures, such 
as the man eagle, the war god, the 
serpent and unknown reptiles, and 
the germ goddess, as well as the 
mountain lion. These symbols show 
that a mythology arose among the 
Pueblos, which did not exist among 
the Cliff- Dwellers. 

Mr. W, H. Holmes speaks of the 
pottery of the Cliff-Dwellers in the 
following terms: 

The study of the fragmentary ware DRILL AND BOW.f 

found about the ruins is very interesting, and 

its immense quantity is a constant matter of wonder. On one occasion, 
while encamped near the foot of the Mancos Canyon, I undertook 
to collect all fragments of vessels of different designs within a certain space, 
and by selecting pieces having peculiarly marked rims, I was able to say 
with certainty that within ten feet square, there were fragments of fifty-five 
different vessels. In shape, these vessels have been so varied that few forms 
known to civilized art could not be found. Fragments of bowls, cups, jugs, 
pitchers, urns and vases, in infinite variety, may be obtained in nearly every 
heap of debris. 

Papers of the Archaeological Institute of America, American Series, Vol. IV., p. 553. 
f This relic is from the Zuoi Pueblo. 



The art of ornamentation seems to have been especially cultivated, as 
very few specimens are found that are not painted, indented or covered 
with raised figures. Indeed, these ornamented designs are often so 
admirable, and apparently so far in advance of the art ideas of these people 
in other respects, that one is led to suspect that they may be of foreign 
origin. This suspicion is in a measure strenghtened when we discover the 
scroll and the fret struggling for existence among the rude scrawlings of 
an artisan, who seems to have made them recognizable rather by accident, 
than otherwise. It is not improbable, however, that the specimens referred 
to are but rude copies of models designed by more accomplished artists, or 
procured from some distant tribes. 

No. i. represents a large vessel obtained in one of the Mancos Cliff 

houses. It is of the corru- 
gated variety, has a capacity 
of about three gallons, and 
was probably used for carry- 
ing or keeping on hand a 
supply of water. In the 
specimen figured the work- 
man has begun near the cen- 
tre of the rounded bottom and 
laid a strip in a continuous, 
but irregular, spiral (No. 3), 
until the rim was reached; 
indenting the whole surface 
irregularly with the finger. 
Two small conical bits of clay 
have been set in near the 
rim, as if for ornament. Other 
specimens have small spirals, 
while others have scrolls, and 
still others very graceful fes- 
toons of clay (Nos. 2 and 2a). 
A number of the more dis- 
tinct styles of indentation are 
given in connection with this 
figure (Nos. 3, 30, 3^, y and 


No. 4 is a bowl restored 
from a large fragment. It is 
painted both inside and out, 
and the designs are applied 
with rather more than usual 

Nos. 5, 5 and t,b are 
prominent among the orna- 
mental designs. I have cor- 
rected the drawing, but have 
introduced no new element. 
No. 6 represents a very usual pattern of mug or cup. It is of the ordi- 
dary painted ware, and is made to contain about a pint. The specimen is 
not entire. 

No. 7 is apparently a pipe. It was found by Mr. Aldrich. near a ruin 
on the San Juan, and is made of the ordinary potter's clay; it is two inches 
in length. 

No. 8 represents part of an ornamental handle, formed by twisting 
together three small rolls*of clay. 

No. 9 represents a small spoon or ladle. Fragments of similar imple- 
ments are quite numerous. 

No. 10 is a portion of the handle of some small vessel. 
As to whether the manufacture of pottery was carried on in certain 
favorable localities only, or whether each village had its own skilled work- 
men or workwomen, I can not determine, since, as previously stated, no 




remains of kilns or manufactories were discovered. The forms and styles 
of ornament are pretty uniform, which is .to be expected in either case, 
since the inhabitants of the various villages must ha\c had constant com- 
munication with each other.* 

Mr. Jackson says of the pottery of Mancos Canon: 

All who have ever vis-ted this region, which extends from the Rio 
Grande to the Colorado, and southwest to the Gila, have been impressed 


with the vast quantities of shattered pottery scattered over the whole land; 
sometimes where not even a ruin now remains, its more enduring nature 
enabling it to long outlive all other specimens of their handiwork. It is 
especially instructing, a; enabling us to see at a glance the proficiency they 
had attained in its manufacture- and ornamentation, displaying an apprecia- 
tion of pro3o r tion anl a fertility of invention in decoration, that makes us 
al nou doubt their ante-Co'umbian origin; but, nevertheless, without eoing 
into the details, we believe th?m to antedate the Spanish occupancy of this 
country, and to owe none of thi-ir excellence to European influences, being 
very likely an indigenous product. 

" A Notice of the Ancient Remain-, of Southwestern Colorado, Kxamined During th 
Summer of 1875," by W. H. Holmes; pp. 21, 22 and 83. 



No. i is ajar from the valley of Epsom Creek, of dark gray and rather 
coarse material, without color or glaze, of the indented and banded ware 
peculiar to the ancient artificers only. It is made by drawing the clay into 
ropes, and then, commencing at the bottom, building up by a continuous 
spiral course, each layer overlapping the one under it; the indentation being 
produced by a pressure with the end of the thumb, and by a slight doubling 
up of the cord of clay. The design is varied by running several courses 
around quite plain. Its diameter was 18 inches, with the same height, and 
9 inches across the mouth. For so large a vessel, ij was very thin, not more 
than one-fouith of an inch. Inside, the surface was rubbed perfectly 

Nos. 2, 3 and n are restorations from well preserved fragments of 
mugs or cups, each elaborately ornamented in black on a white glazed 
ground; the last one, especially, is of firm, excellent ware, and the design is 
put on with great precision. The first two are 31^ inches in diameter and 4 
inches high, and the last one 4>^ inches in diameter by 5 inches in height. 

No, 4 is a flat disk of 
pottery for covering a jar. 
No. 5 is the small 
jug found at the great 
cave ruin on the Rio de 
Chelley; it is 3^ inches 
in diameter, of dark gray 
ware, perfectly round and 
very neatly painted. The 
handle has been broken 
off, but leaving the marks 
where it had been at- 

No. 6 is a slightly 
oval-shaped inches 
in diameter, and a mouth 
5 inches wide, with the 
lip rolling over suffici- 
ently to attach a cord to 
carry it by. 

No. 8 is a small jug, 
with side-handles and 
narrow neck, 4^ inches 
in diameter and i^ 
inch across the mouth. 

No. 9 is a cup or 
dipper from Montezuma Canyon; bowl, 3^ inches in diameter; handle, 4 
inches long. 

No. 12 is a pitcher, taken from a grave on the banks of the San Juan, 
near the mouth of the Mancos. by Captain Moss. In the same find, were 
other similar vessels, some polished stone implements and a human jaw 
bone. The ware of this pitcher is a coarse, gray material; somewhat 
roughly modeled, but of fine form and tasteful decoration. 

No. 10 is a peculiar vessel, found among the Moquis or Tegues. They 
could give no account as to where it came from, or who made it. It is 
probably of Zuni manufacture. The material is rather soft, being ea-ily 
cut with a kni e. The upper portion is painted or glazed white, and ihe 
lower red; the figures are painted in red and black. The tallest portion is 
6 inches in height. 

No. 7 is an example of the modern work of the Moquis or Tegues. The 
material and workmanship are far below any of the preceding examples; 
approaching them only in its ornamentation, which is strictly inventional, 
but somewhat bizarre.* 


*"A Notice of the Ancient Ruins in Arizona and Utah, Lying About the Rio San 
Juan," by W. H. Jackson; pp. 44-45. 



5. The collections made by Mr. Nordenskjold while explor- 
ing the cliff dwellings are important in this connection. He 
discovered a large amount of pottery, consisting of several 
kinds: (i) Coiled ware; (2) plain ware, undecorated; (3) 
plain, with indented ornaments; (4) ware, painted in red, black 
and white. He also found woven and plaited articles; wicker 
work; mocassins; plaited ropes; feather cloth; loom woven 
nets; a whole jacket of skin, found in a grave; several skin 
pouches; cord wrapped in a thong of hide; necklaces ot shell; 
a head-dress of feathers, tied 
in rows, designed for plumes; 
cotton cloth; a belt or head 
piece, made with a wrap of 
yucca and a woof of cotton; 
a double-woven band; a bag 
or pouch, made from the skin 
of a prairie dog, filled with 
salt, and sewn together in 
such -a manner as to leave 
the hole, corresponding to 
the mouth of the animal; also 
a necklace of turquoises and 
white beads, which were per- 
forated; a black bead of jet, 
found at Spring House; a 
cylinderof polished hematite; 
a mummy, shrouded in a net 
work of cord with thongs of 
hide, and the feet clad in 
mocassins of hide; also a 
large piece of feather cloth 
wrapped around the skeleton 
of a child, and, at Step House, 
a shroud of feather cloth. 

At this place, he found a large vase of coiled ware, holding 
twenty-five litres; also a jar in a net of yucca; a large jar with 
a tasteful indented pattern in triangles; a large, shallow bowl, 
ornamented with regular designs; and, at Spring House, an 
oblong vessel, probably a lamp. It resembled a bowl, but had 
two loops on the top, designed to be heM with cords and hung 
to the wall. There were cotton wicks placed in the opening 
or mouth. He also discovered a ladle with handles; black and 
white bowls, encircled by a black line and black streaks running 
obliquely down, making a step pattern; bowls with a black 
pattern on a white ground; a large bowl with a meander pat- 
tern and parallel lines, executed with great skill ; a bowl with an 
especially handsome ornament in black on a gray ground; 
a large bowl with a black ornament on a white ground, with a 
handsome meander. 

This cut, representing a modern Zuni women wiih pottery jar on her head, is given to 
how the contrast between the Cliff-D sellers' pottery and that of the modern Pueblos. 



At Step House, he found a bowl with a suastika on the 
outside, with white diamonds and black spots on the inside; 
this was in a grave; also a fragment of a large bowl with a 
suastika, and a scroll in black with a large leaf in black and 
gray; also a mug, ornamented in black and white; spoons with 
ornaments, some running parallel, others with transverse bars; 
a large spherical jar and ladles and dippers; one beautiful jar 
uf red ware, with spiral coils, perfect in form and design; its 
fine details and coils executed with great care, the figures in 
curved and spiral lines. These finds by Mr. Nordenskjold are 
very important, especially of the red ware and of the suastikas. 

Some maintain that the Cliff-Dwellers were a very ancient 
people, and were, in fact, the ancestors of the Aztecs, and that 
the famous migration from the Seven Caves, described by the 
Mexican picture records, was from this region. Others main- 
tain that they were quite modern, and were the same as the 
Pueblos, and occupied the cliffs as resorts while cultivating the 
soil and remained there until after the arrival of the Spaniards. 
The examination of the relics gathered from the cliff dwellings, 
however, disproves both of these positions. 

There is, in the first place, not a single ornament which 
resembles those used by the Aztecs, and the ordinary relics are 
of a very different character. In the second place, most of the 
pottery is entirely different from that used by the modern 
Pueblos, and lacks the symbols and ornaments which are sup- 
posed to have been introduced among them late in their history. 
They give no evidence of contact with the white man. 
There are, to be sure-, such symbols as the suastika, the Greek 
fret, the Egyptian tau, the scroll, the volute and the stepped 
figure which are common in oriental countries, but these are 
world-wide in their distribution, and seem to be almost universal. 

We conclude that the Cliff-Dwellers received them from the 
same source that the Mound-Builders of the Mississippi valley 
and the civilized tribes of the southwest did. The stepped 
figure is not found among the mounds, but nearly all the other 
symbols are. The plumed serpent is especially prominent. 

These same symbols are very common among the Pueblos, 
but in addition to them there are many figures which seem to 
have had a later origin, perhaps were introduced after the 
advent of the Spaniards. 



There is one question connected with the Cliff-Dwellers, 
which to some has been difficult to answer, namely, how does 
it happen that they, in the midst of their strange surroundings, 
should be so superior to the wild tribes which have for many 
generations infested the region ? This can not be ascribed to 
any natural superiority, for, so far as known, they were quiet 
people, and somewhat sluggish in their habits, and manifested 
much less energy and strength than the people they considered 
their enemies. Some have accounted for it on the ground 
that there was here an inherited civilization, one which had been 
introduced from the regions far to the southwest Mexico, or 
possibly Nicaraugua, the signs of which are to be seen in the 
ancient ruins at Quemada and the Casas Grandes in Sonora. 

The key to the problem, however, is undoubtedly furnished 
in the fact that the Pueblos and the Cliff- Dwellers alike were, and 
had been from time immemorial, agriculturists, and this led them 
to a sedentary, life which would naturally result in their continued 
improvement, and so produced the same contrast between them 
and their neighbors that exists elsewhere between the civilized 
and the uncivilized. 

It is certain that they were so thoroughly given to agri- 
culture, that they continued it under the most unfavor- 
able circumstances, even when driven to the greatest straits from 
the constant presence of an enemy which threatened to attack 
their homes, and were often successful in destroying their crops 
and so depriving them of their common subsistence. In this 
they differed from the wild tribes, who were hunters and had no 
permanent dwelling place, but were nomads and wandered from 
place to place, according as the spirit moved them. This pecu- 
liarity was noticed by the Spaniards when they first reached the 
region, although at that time the contrast between them and the 
wild tribes did not strike them as forcibly as it has others, for 
they came from a region where a sedentary life was common and 
agriculture was the rule, rather than the exception. To the 
American explorers, it was more of a surprise, for they were 
accustomed to the ways of the hunters and considered all of the 
aborigines in the light of nomades who occasionally resorted to 
agriculture as merely incidental to the hunter life. 

The modern archaeologists understand that this furnishes the 
clew to the whole problem of society as it existed among both 


the Pueblos and the Cliff-Dwellers, and fully accounts for the 
difference between them and the people who were besieging 
them. It is well known that the three stages of savagery, bar- 
barism and civilization are attended by different modes of life 
and different means of subsistence, and that the savages are gen- 
erally nomads, that agriculture is distinctive of barbarism, and 
that dwelling in cities is frequently a sign of civilization. 

The fact that the Pueblos were practising agriculture raises 
t'lem above others, one whole stage in the scale of human pro- 
gress. It is not often, however, that the lines are so strongly 
drawn and the contrast so marked as here. It is like the mesas 
which rise above the level of the valley abruptly, and upon the 
mesas the terraced houses are sometimes conspicuous from their 
very height; so the practice of agriculture raises the people 
above the mass of humanity which was still held in the low 
plains of savagery, the very houses which were erected being in 
contrast to the huts which savages occupied. 

Some maintain that whatever civilization there was in America 
in prehistoric times was owing to agriculture, and the change 
from the nomadic state to a sedentary life. This position was 
held by Mr. Morgan. It was also the opinion of Baron von 
Humboldt, who speaks of the value of agriculture in main- 
taining the original population and keeping it up to a high stage 
of development, in the following words : 

If at the commencement of the empire of the Incas of Peru in the 
cordilleras of Quito and the elevated plains of New Granda, and in the 
Mexican Anahuac, the population has maintained itself and in some points 
even considerably increased, the cause must be sought in the fact that hun- 
dreds of years before the Spanish Conquest, the population consisted of 
agricultural tribes. In general views of the manifold grades of intelligence 
manifested by those who are so vaguely and often improperly denominated 
savages, the imagination is carried back of the present to an indefinite past, 
in which the greater part of the human race lived in the same condition ; 
but even in the savage state, we are struck by signs of spontaneous awak- 
ening in intellectual power, in the knowledge of several languages and the 
anticipation of a future existence, and in traditions that boldly rise to the 
origin of the human race and its abode. The hordes which occupy the 
country between New Mexico and the river Gila, especially attract our 
attention, because they are scattered along the line of march which, in the 
period from the sixth to the twelfth centuries, the various nations known as 
the Toltecs, Chicamecs, Nahuas and Aztecs proceeded, when they traversed 
and peopled southern tropical Mexico. 

Memorials remain of the architectural and industrial skill of the 
nations, who had evidently attained a high degree of culture. The various 
stations or abiding places of the Aztecs can still be pointed out by means 
of historical paintings and ancient traditions, and the large, many-storied 
houses seen in this region offer analogies as to the mode of building in use 
among the southern tribes. 

In the case of the American migrations of nations from north to south, 
might not single tribes have remained behind north of the Gila? All the 
conjectures connected with this bold hypothesis concerning the sources of a 
certain amount of civilization, evident in the original seats of wandering 
nations, have fallen into the abyss of historic myths. Want of faith in 
finding a satisfactory solution of the problem, must, nevertheless, not be 
allowed to lessen our diligence, or set limits to our inquiries. The far m jre 


extensive and flatter eastern regions, though covered with a net work of 
rivers, was inhabited only by savage tribes, isolated and scarcely capable of 
any co-operation for a warlike undertaking, and maintaining themselves 
wholly by hunting and fishing. 

I. The point which interests us, is that agriculture was so 
wide-spread among the Pueblos. This was the one thing which 
made the difference between them and the wild tribes which have 
continued to inhabit the same region. This is illustrated by the 
facts which have been made known by the different explorers 
who passed through the country when the aborigines of both 
classes were occupying the region, and when they were left to 
their natural tastes, without the restraining influence of any 
army or the presence of any civilized people. 

If we begin with the regions situated on the Rio Grande, 
and pass over the different districts towards the west and north, 
and take the testimony of the explorers, we shall see how exten- 
sive agriculture was in prehistoric times and also see the contrast 
between the Pueblos and Cliff Dwellers and the hordes which 
invaded their territory. We shall not run amiss if we take the 
testimony of any of those who belonged to the exploring expedi- 
tions, though some are more explicit in their account of agricul- 
ture than others. We shall, therefore, confine ourselves to 
such accounts. Mr. B. Mollhausen, who accompanied the 
expedition under Lieutenant Whipple, has given some excellent 
descriptions of the Pueblos and the deserted villages which he 
saw, but he has also spoken of the practice of agriculture as 
almost universal. He first visited San Domingo and the Rio 
Grande, and there saw the method of cultivating the soil by 
irrigation. He says: 

The neighborhood of settlements and cultivated lands was recognizable 
long before reaching the place, by the canals and ditches which intersected 
the new lands and were designed to carry the water of the river to the 
plants and seeds, for without such measures, it would be scarcely possible 
to raise the most scanty harvest under the arid climate of New Mexico. 
Flocks of marsh and water birds animate the fields thus irrigated, and 
under the shelter of the close stalks of Indian corn, some of the sportsmen 
get effective shots among them. 

The valley of the Rio Grande is closely cultivated in many parts, from 
the mouth up as far as Taos. The inexhaustible wealth of nature, which 
renders the colonization of America so easy, is not in so high a degree 
characteristic of New Mexico, and in some places there are great deficiencies, 
but the fruitful valleys of the Rio Grande and its tributaries, as well as the 
mountains rich in iron, coal and gold, are profuse enough in their gifts, not 
only to maintain but to enrich whole nations and carry them to the highest 
point of civilization. 

The Xuni Indians are more favorably disposed to civilization than those 
of anv other Pueblo. Besides agriculture, they, or rather their women, are 
skillful in the art of weaving and, like the Navajos, manufacture durable 
blankets. The pueblo, with its terraced houses, elevated streets, nu nerous 
I.iddcrs and the figures climbing up and down them, tame turkeys and 
eagles sitting upon the walls, presented an interesting picture, and still more 
attractive when we looked back upon the wide plain, stripped of its harvest 
and w ith a background of grand masses of rock and blue distant mountains. 


In speaking ot the Colorado Chiquito, Mr. Mollhausen says: 

The fertile soil, quite capable of cultivation, lay on both sides of the 
river, and more and more ruins, in such quantities as to afford ground for 
the belief that a wandering race of a remote antiquity had possessed exten- 
sive settlements in this valley, where we found every requisite for human 
subsistence, pure wholesome water and fruitful soil. 

The ruins described by Captain Sitgreaves lie at a short distance. 
They are obviously the remains of extensive settlements that have lain 
scattered over an area of eight to ten miles about the valley, and which 
must have been at one time a thickly peopled district. That no water is 
found near the ruins which lie farthest from the river, is considered suffi- 
cient to account for their abandonment. It is, however, scarcely conceiv- 
able that in the vicinity of a river that is never dry, there could be a want 
of water, or that the industrious people could allow their reservoirs to 
become choked. It is more probable that a general emigration under the 
repeated attacks of Indian tribes occasioned the abandonment of these 
numerous towns. It must strike everyone that the more southerly ruins 
manifest greater culture and experience in their builders, and also indicate 
that their towns and settlements were more thickly populated and inhabited 
for a long time. 

Mr. Brackenridge, who visited the mounds and monuments 
opposite St. Louis, called Cahokia Mounds, and gave the earliest 
description of them, has also furnished a description of the pueblo 
tribes situated in New Mexico, and especially of their build, 
ings, which he called " castles," and of their agricultural habits. 
He says : 

Their habits and character were entirely the reverse of a migratory 
people. These habits fixed them permanently in the spots which they 
occupied. There never was a people less fitted for migration than the 
occupants of the Castle Cibola. It will strike most readers as a singular 
fact that there should be found in America a land of ''castles," with suc- 
cessive platforms like those of Babylon, and rising to the height of seven 
stories, like the pagodas of China. They were not permanent works, like 
those of the Rhine and the Danube, nor were they the abodes of feudal 
chiefs; on the contrary, they were places of defense occupied by an indus- 
trial population, ruled by councils of elders, and exposed to the war-like 
depredations ot the nomadic savage tribes which lived on the buffalos 
which swarmed in vast numbers in the regions of the north. 

There were no divisions of streets, but the houses were raised one 
above the other in stories or stages, the roofs projecting over those below, 
forming sheltered galleries with doors entering into separate apartments. 
The castles rise from three to seven stories on a solid basement ten feet in 
height to which there was no entrance, thus serving for defense against their 
enemies. A fertile valley capable of being irrigated was chosen for the site 
of the castle, where they cultivated squashes, beans and also a little cotton 
for their domestic fabrics. Their canals for irrigation and supply of water 
were of great extent. No domestic animals were used. 

It does not appear that the towns were dependent .upon any central 
government, or in any way connected by leagues; the government was 
uniformily one which was confined to villages or castles. 

The following extract from Mr. Birtlett's work will give us 
an idea of the ruins and villages on the Gila and the Salinas, as 
well as the Pima villages which were visited by Coronado, as 
well as the irrigating contrivances which prevailed here. He says : 

In every direction, as far as the eye can reach, are seen heaps of ruined 
edifices with no portion of their walls standing. One thing is evident, and 


that is, that at some former period, the valley of the Gila, from this ruin to 
the western extremity of the rich bottom land now occupied by the Pimas 
and Maricopas, as well as the broad valley of the Salinas, for upwards of 
forty miles, was densely populated; the ruined buildings, the irrigating 
canals some of them twenty feet wide, the vast quantities of pottery, show 
that, while they were an agricultural people, they were much superior to the 
present uncivilized tribes, 'J heir civilization extended far beyond the dis- 
trict named. From information given by Leroux, it appears that ruins of 
the same sort exist on the San Francisco or Verde River. 

There is one fact which I regard as of importance in forming a con- 
jecture about this people. This is the cultivation of the cotton plant and 
the use of cotton in the domestic fabrics. This plant was not known to the 
Northwest Indians, and is nowhere indigenous beyond the tropics, whence 
they derived it. Was it from Mexico or Peru? There was no intercourse 
between ihis region and Mexico. This fact has the appearance of pointing 
to an Asiatic origin, the strongest argument being that the earliest races of 
America are uniformly found on the western side of the Continent, and not 
on the Atlantic side. 

Major Powell draws a distinction between the tribes, such as 
the Utes, Shoshones, Shiwits, Navajos and Apaches, who were 
hunters and fed upon the flesh of animals killed in the fall, and 
were clad in skins and furs, and the Pueblos, who lived mainly 
upon grain, and were clothed for the most part in cotton garments 
and had reached a higher civilization. He says of the Utes : 

These people built their shelters of boughs and bark, and to some 
extent lived intents made of the skins of animals. They never cultivated 
the soil, but gathered wild seeds and roots, and were famous hunters and 
fishermen. 1 hey have always been well clad in skins and furs; the men wore 
a blouse, loin cloth, legg ngs aiid mocassins, and the women dressed in 
short kilts. Sometimes the men would have a bear or elk skin for a toga, 
but more often they made their togas by piecing together the skins of 
wolves, mountain lions, wolverines, wild cats, beavers and otters. The 
women sometimes made theirs of fawn skins, but rabbit skin robes were 
far more common. Cords were made of the fibre of wild flax or yucca 
plants, and around these cords, strips of rabbit skin were rolled so that 
they made longropes ot rabbit skin coiled, the central coil of vegetable fibre, 
then these coils were rolled into para lei strings with cross strings of fibre. 
The robe when finished was about five feet square, and made a good toga 
for a cold day and a warm blanket for night. Neither men nor women wore 
a head-dress, except on festival occasion* tor decoration. 

He says of the Shoshones : 

The region from Fremont Peak to the Uinta Mouotains has been the 
home of Indians of the Shoshonian family from time immemorial. It is a 
great hunting and fishing region. The flesh of the animals killed in the 
fall was dried for summer use. The seeds and fruits were gathered and 
perserved for winter use. When the seeds were gathered, they were win- 
nowed by tossing them in trays, so that the wind might carry away the chaff; 
tin \ were roasted in the same trays. Afterward the seeds were ground on 
meal ing s-tones and moulded into cakes that were stored away for use in 
time of need. 

The Shiwits, " people of the spring"; the Uinkirets. "people of the 
Tim- Mountains." and the Unkakani^uts, " people of the red lands," who 
dwell along the Vermilion Cliff, are found on the terraced plateaus These 
people live in shelters made of boughs piled up in circles and covered with 
juniper bark, supported by poles. These little houses are only large enough 
for half a dozen persons, huddling together, to sleep. Every year they have 
great hunts, when scores of rabbits are killed in a single day. It is managed 
in this way: They make nets ot the fibre of the wild flax and of some other 


plant, the meshes of which are about an inch across, into which they drive 
the rabbits. A great variety of desert plants furnish them food, as seeds, 
roots and stalks. More then fifty varieties of such seed-bearing plants have 
been collected. The seeds themselves are roasted, ground and preserved 
in cakes. The most abundant food of this nature, is derived from the sun- 
flower and the nuts of the pinon. They will make stone arrow heads, stone 
knives and stone hammers, and kindle fires with the drill. 

In speaking of the inhabitants of the Kanab River and the 
Vermilion Cliffs, in the heart of the Grand Canyon, who c^welt 
in pueblos, some of which were three stories high, he says: 

From extensive study of the ruins, it seems that everywhere tribal 
pueblos were built of considerable dimensions, usually to give shelter to 
several hundred people. Then the people cultivated the soil by irrigation, 
and had their gardens and little fields scattered at wide distances about the 
central pueblos, by little springs and streams, and wherever they could con- 
trol the water with little labor to bring it on the land. At such points stone 
houses were erected, sufficient to accommodate from one to two thousand 
people, and these were occupied during the season of cultivation and are 
known as rancherias. Sometimes the rancherias were occupied from year 
to year, especially in time of peace, but usually they were occupied only 
during seasons of cultivation. Such groups of ruins and pueblos, with 
accessory rancherias, are still inhabited, and have been described as found 
throughout the Plateau Province, except far to the north beyond the Uinta 
Mountains. A great pueblo once existed in the Uinta Valley, on the south 
side of the mountains. This is the most northern pueblo which has yet been 
discovered. But the pueblo-building tribes extended beyond the area 
drained by the Colorado. On the west, there was a pueblo in the Great 
Basin, at the site now occupied by Salt Lake City, and several more to the 
southeast, all on waters flowing into the desert. On the east, such pueblos 
were found among the mountains at the head waters of the Arkansas, 
Platte and Canadian Rivers. The entire area drained by the Rio Grande 
del Norte was occupied by Pueblo tribes, and a number are still inhabited. 
To the south, they extended far beyond the territory of the United States; 
and the so-called Aztec cities were rather superior pueblos of this character. 
The known Pueblo tribes of the United States belong to several different 
linguistic stocks. They are far from being one homogeneous people, for 
they have not only different languages, but different religions and worship 
different gods. The Pueblo people are in a higher grade of culture than 
most Indian tribes of the United States. This is exhibited in the slight 
superiority of their arts, especially in their architecture.* 

Thus we see from the reports of the earliest explorers that, 
notwithstanding the great number ot ruins and the apparent 
aridity of the soil, agriculture was carried on through the central 
parts of the Pueblo territory, especially on the Rio Grande, the 
Little Colorado and the Gila Rivers, though mainly by irrigation. 
There seem to have been valleys among the mountains of the 
north, especially along the Rio San Juan, where agriculture was 
conducted without the aid of irrigation, for, here, the rain was 
precipitated by means of the mountains often enough, so as to 
supply needed moisture. This explains the pertinacity with 
which the Cliff- Dwellers clung to their homes hid away among 
the mountains, and emphasizes the calamity which came upon 
them when the nomadic hordes invaded their possessoins. 

" Canyons of the Colorado," by J. W. Powell; pp. ioo-in. 


The testimony of all the explorers is that the soil here is 
extremely fertile and needs but little cultivation to raise excellent 
crops. Mr. Jackson says : 

The Rio San Juan drains a great interior basin covering over 20.000 
square miles, as well as several great mountain masses bordering it. The 
river at the mouth of the McElmo has an average width ot fifty yards, and 
a depth of four to six feet. The water is warm and well freighted with the 
soil which it is continually undermining, contrasting strongly with the ice- 
cold tributaries which give it existence, and the bottoms are from three to 
five miles in width and, bordering the stream, covered with dense growths 
of cottonwoods and willows The broad and fertile alluvial lands, well 
covered with grass, prove a rich agricultural possession. 

The Rio de Chelly was also a favorable place for carrying on 
agriculture. Mr. Mindeleff says of it: / 

Near its mouth, the whole bottom of the canyon consists of an even 
stretch of white sand, extending from cliff to cliff. A little higher up, there 
were small areas of bottom land and recesses and coves only a foot or two 
above the bed of the stream. Still higher up, these became more abundant, 
forming regular benches or terraces. At Casa Blanca, the bench is eight 
or ten feet above the stream, each little branch canyon and cave in the 
cliffs is fronted by a more or less extensive area of cultivatable land. These 
bottom lands are the cultivatable areas of the canyon bottom, and their 
currents and distribution have dictated the location and occupation of the 
villages now in ruins. They are also the sites of all the Navajo settlements. 
The Navajo hogans, or huts, are generally placed directly on the bottoms, 
the ruins are always located so as to overlook them. Only a very small 
proportion of the available land is utilized by the Navajos, and not all of it 
was used by the old villagers. 

The horticultural conditions here, while essentially the same in the 
whole Pueblo region, present some peculiar features. Except for a few 
modern examples, there are no traces of irrigating works. The village 
builders did not require irrigation for the successful cultivation of their 
crops, and under the Indian method of planting and cultivating, a failure 
to harvest a good crop was rare. 

As to the climate : In Dr cember, it becomes very cold and so much of 
the stream is in the shade the greater part of the day, that much of the 
water becomes fro/en. In a short time, great fields of ice are formed. 
This, and the scant grazing afforded by the bottom lands in winter, accounts 
for the annual migration of the Navajos; but these conditions would not 
materially affect the people who did not possess domestic animals, but were 
purely agricultural. The stream when flowing is seldom more than a foot 
deep, except in times of flood, when it becomes a raging torrent, hence 
irrigation would be impracticable, nor is it successful here for extensive 

These statements throw light upon the former habits of the 
Cliff Dwellers of the Rio San Juan and show conclusively that 
they had their permanent abodes in these canyons, because of 
the fact that they could easily secure subsistence here, and 
because they became attached to their mountain home. The 
evidence is that they first made their homes here as a matter of 
choice on account of the fertility of the soil, and not on account 
of the dangers with which they were surrounded. After the 
invasion of the savages, they were compelled to build their 
houses high up in the cliffs for the sake of defense, but it is 


likely that they built them so far above the stream in order to 
escape the mountain torrents which swept through the valleys, 
even before the savages came upon them. As Mr. Mindeleff says: 

Canyon de Chelly was occupied because it was the best place in that 
vicinity for the practice of horticulture. The cliff ruins there, grew out of 
the same natural conditions that they have in other places. It is not meant 
that a type of house structure was invented here, and was transferred sub- 
sequently to other places. The geological topographical environment, 
favored their construction. From a different geological structure in other 
regions, cavate lodges resulted; in other places, there were watch towers, 
and still others, single rooms The character of the site occupied is one of 
the most important evidences to be studied in examination of the ruins in 
the Pueblo country. The sites here are all selected with a view to an out- 
look over some adjacent area of cultivable land, and the structures erected 
were industrial or horticultural, as well as military or defensive. The im- 
mense number of storage cists are a natural outgrowth of the conditions 
there, The storage of water was very seldom attempted. A large propor- 
tion of the cists were burial places. As a rule, they are far more difficult 
of access than the ruins. 

In the cliff ruins of De Chelly we have an interesting and most instruc- 
tive example of the influence of a peculiar and sometimes adverse environ- 
ment on a primitive people, who entered the region with preconceived and 
fully developed ideas of house construction, and left it before these ideas 
were brought fully in accord with the environment, but not before they 
were influenced by it. 

II. The question arises, whether the Cliff-Dwellers had 
permanent agricultural settlements, or were they merely farm- 
ing shelters, used by the Pueblos who lived upon the mesas. 

I. On this -point, it may be well to examine the archi- 
tecture of the region which has been often described, and con- 
cerning which there is more discussion than any other, namely, 
that found in the Rio de Chelly. 

This valley has been described by different explorers, com- 
mencing with Col. Simpson, F. T. Bickford and Mr. Mindeleff and 
others, each one of whom has described the different villages, 
especially those called the Casa Blanca, or the White House, the 
village in Mummy Cave, in Canyon del Muerto, and one on the 

Mr. Bickford says that the Canyon de Chelly and its two 
principal branches, Monumental Canyon and Canyon del Muerto, 
have an aggregate length of more than forty miles. " They vary 
in width from 200 to 300 feet, and their walls, which are precipi- 
tous throughout, are from 803 to 1,400 feet in height. Through 
all the branches there run streams of clear water, which unite 
and form the Little Rio de Chelly. The soil of the canyon is 
fertile, and under the tillage of a more intelligent race would bear 
rich crops. Though not comparable in grandeur to the Grand 
Canyon or the Yosemite, it is, nevertheless, one of the most 
beautiful of western canyons. The cave villages are found 
sometimes only thirty feet from the level, and sometimes 800 
feet. The reason why such sites were selected does not fully 
appear. The conclusion so often and so easily reached, is that 


they were places of refuge from the attacks of the invading races. 
So far as appearances go, they seem to have been, not the places 
of occasional retreat, but the regular, permanent dwelling place 
of their builders. The traces of fires are found in the ruins. 
Rock paintings abound, and hundreds of shapes of human hands 
are found adorning some of the roofs of the now inaccessible 
caves. Symbols are frequent, the dragon fly, the rainbow, the 
sun, objects of reverence to the living Pueblos. Few animals 
are pictured, the elk, the antelope and the red deer being the 
most numerous. 

" The most remarkable group of ruins is found in a branch of 
Monumental Canyon, and is about 700 feet above the bottom of 
the canyon, which is very narrow. The finest group of ruins, 
though not the largest, and probably the best specimen of the 
handiwork of the Cave-Dwellers in existence, is known as the 
White House. Its site is a cave whose floor is about thirty 
feet from the bottom of the canyon, and is accessible only by 
rope-climbing up the vertical face of a perfectly smooth precipice. 
The first line of structures have their fronts flush with the preci- 
pice; their position, together with their little loop hole windows 
and irregularly castellated tops, suggesting that they were 
designed as the outer line of a strong fortress. Rising above 
this line, are seen the walls of an inner and smaller structure, 
which, being painted white, forms a conspicuous and attractive 
feature in a most remarkable landscape. Above, 900 feet of 
smooth, bellying rock so overhangs the place that a plumb-line 
from its crest would pass about seventy feet in front of the outer- 
most wall of the old village. The cave has a lateral reach ot 
ninety four feet, and a depth of forty feet. The ruin is called by 
the Navajos something which signifies " the abode of many 
captains." It is the only painted cave dwelling of which we 
have any knowledge. Dados, with borders of saw teeth and 
rows of dots, all in yellow paint, adorn the rooms, the alignment 
of which is better and the plastering smoother than usual. 
There are seventeen rooms in the cave. 

" The largest group of ruins in this vicinity, and probably the 
largest of its class cave dwellings of masonry in the world, is 
that discovered by Stevenson. It is found near the head ot 
Canyon del Muerto, and is known as Mummy Cave, from the 
fact that its discoverer found near it an undisturbed cist, from 
which he removed a well preserved mummy. The southern 
wall of the canyon here retreats, forming a wide, shallow bay, 
around which, at the height of about 2OO feet from the bottom, 
there extends a sloping shelf which was terraced by the ancients 
to make the foundation of their village. The crest of the preci- 
pice extends far enough to cover the entire group, which was 
probably the home of more than a thousand individuals. The 
terrace and all that stand upon it his fallen away, and nov forms 


part of an immense mass of debris, which makes the cave 
more easily accessible. Only those walls remain which are 
founded upon the solid rock at the back of the cave, and many 
of these show little more than the foundation lines. The evi- 
dence of an aristocracy, or controlling class, is here very striking. 
The cave is shaped like two unequal crescents joined end to end, 
and the apartments, or rather cells, of the two portions are 
small and of irregular form, following the conformation of the 
rock. At the point of junction, however, covering almost 
entirely the narrower shelf, there stands a rectangular tower, 
three stories in height; the rooms of which, as well as those in 
its immediate neighborhood, are larger, and the walls and floors 
much better in construction than those upon either, side. The 
tower commands the village, as feudal towns were commanded 
by the castles of their lords." 

2. The distribution of kivas in the ruins of De Chelly affords 
another indication that the occupancy of the region was perma- 
nent. The position of the kivas in some of the settlements on 
defensive sites, and their arrangement across the front of the 
cave, suggests at first sight, that they were used for outlooks 
and their occupancy by villages came at a later period. Kivas 
are found only in permanent settlements. They are sacred 
chambers in which the civil and religious affairs of the tribe 
were transacted. They also formed a place of resort or club for 
the men. Their functions are many and varied. It seems to 
have been a common requirement in the Pueblo country that the 
kivas should be wholly or partly underground, but the greatest 
care was bestowed upon their construction and finish ; the 
interior was plastered with a number of coats and was orna- 
mented with markings and symbols in the shape of bars or bands 
and triangles, which were of a ceremonial, rather than of a 
decorative origin. Chimney-like structures were used for venti- 
lation, showing that the kivas were occupied permanently by the 
men. Circular rooms, built and arranged on the same plan, 
with exceedingly slight variations in size and construction, 
reappear in every cliff dwelling, except the smallest one. 

Ventilation by the introduction of fresh air on a low level, 
striking on a screen a little distance from the inlet, and being 
thereby evenly distributed over the whole chamber, is a 
development in house construction rarely reached by our own 
civilization. A stone pier at the opening of the ventilator, 
and between it and the fire, constantly brings into the kiva 
the fresh air. The entrance is always at the top, and 
is generally kept open. This makes a draft which carries 
off the foul air from below, which would be an absolute 
necessity, for the men and boys are alawys congregated 
in the kivas in great numbers, and make it their sleep : ng 


.3 The number of storage cists found near the cliff dwell- 
ings, prove that they were permanently occupied. These have 
been referred to by all the explorers, from Jackson and Holmes 
down to Mindeleff and Matthews. Mr. Jackson speaks of store 
houses which were placed high up in the cliffs in the Mancos 
Canon, at>ove the cliff dwelling called the " Sixteen-windowed 
House." These were reached by climbing the side of the cliff 
at one end of the ledge, and then passing from one store house 
to another. There were remains of corn and beans and other 
products in these store rooms, so that one is called the fire room; 
another, the bean room, and another, the corn room. 

The people dwelt in the rooms which were built on the lower 
ledge, and had their separate apartments, which extended back 
to the rock and were lighted by the windows 
in front. A round room, with a narrow 
passage-way, or flue, near the floor, was 
undoubtedly the estufa furnished with a ven- 
tilator, after the plan of other estufas in the 
region. The only court in this village 
was at the end of the ledge, and just below 
the stairway which led up to the store rooms. 
Running water was found within a few 
yards of this group of houses. 

Mr. Jackson speaks, also, of the store 
rooms or cists scattered along the cliffs near 
the Montezuma and the Hovenweep. He 
calls them cubby holes and rock shelters, 
and speaks of them as occurring in all sorts 
of positions, from the level of the valley to 
the height of over 100 feet, and from the 
smallest kind of a cache, not larger than a 
bushel basket, to buildings that sheltered 
several families. Some of them were little, 
walled- up, circular orifices in the rock, 
generally inaccessible; but many were 
approached by steps, or rather small holes, cut in the rock so as 
to enable the climber to ascend, as if by a ladder. The steps 
leading up to them show that they were considerably used, and 
were probably resorted to by the house wives as they needed 
the products which were stored away. In one of the cave dwell- 
ings, the skeleton of a human being, nearly covered with the 
excrement of small animals, dust and other rubbish, which cov- 
ered the floor a foot deep, was found. 

Mr. F. H. Chapin speaks of the store rooms back of the line 
of houses in Cliff Palace, and of the burial places which were 
in the niches of the rocks, showing that the people were so 
permanently settled, as to bury their deadin the midst of their 
houses. He speaks, also, of a little isolated room, with a single 




window for an entrance, which was situated on the upper ledge 
of Acowitz Canon. It is probable that this was used both as a 
store room and a look-out station. It was very difficult to reach 
and was perched in a little cleft, high up in the side of the cliff, 
where it constituted one of a second group of buildings. 

Mr. Mindeleff mentions the store rooms in the Canon de 
Chelly. There was a group of ruins located on a narrow bench 
300 feet above the canon bottom ; access to the upper ledge was 
exceedingly difficult, requiring a climb of almost vertical rock 
over forty feet. At the northern end of the upper ledge, there 
are five small cells, occupying its whole width, whose front wall 
follows the winding ledge. These cells could hardly have been 
used as habitations. There was one room which measured 

fifteen by five feet, which 
may have been employed 
for the storage of water. 

He also speaks of the 
reservoir for the storage 
of water, as situated at 
the bend of the river and 
directly abpve the stream, 
and suggests that water 
may have been drawn up 
from the stream and pour- 
ed into the reservoir at a 
dry time. It constitutes a 
part of a cliff village. 

A granary in the rocks 
is described, which was 
reached by a narrow pass- 
age-way about 2 1/2 feet 
wide, and was protected 
by two small f-ooms on 
one side, and by the village itself, on the other. The interior 
forms a convenient dry, airy space. 

Another village on the Del Muerto is situated on a narrow 
ledge nearly 400 feet above the stream. It was almost inacces- 
sible, but was reached by climbing up the rock by aid of hand 
and foot holes. The entrance to the village was guarded by a 
room whose walls were pierced by oblique loop holes for the dis- 
charge of arrows. The site commands an extensive outlook over 
the canon bottom, including several areas of cultivable land. 
Immediately below are the remains of a large settlement, and 
nearby, a number of small settlements, connected with it.* 

4. Another proof that the cliff dwellings were permanent 
resdences, is found in the fact that bodies were buried and relics 
deposited in such great numbers. 


Sixteenth Annual Report Ethnological Bureau, p. 132; see also cut. 


Nordenksjold discovered bodies of children in Johnson 
Canon and at Spruce Tree House. In a little room there were 
five bodies with arrows lying across their heads, and between the 
skeletons four bows. One skeleton lay on the top of a mat, 
with a bow on one side and a mug and a basket on the other; a 
pair of mocassins on the feet, and some feather cloth under the 
head. After taking up the bodies, a large mat was discovered 
covering the floor, and below the mat, a skeleton with a medi- 
cine-stick and two prairie dog-skin pouches. This skeleton was 
covered with a willow mat, made of grass, and under the grass 
mat, one of feather cloth ; after that, a buck-skin jacket with a 

Mr. Nordenksjold also speaks of the wooden implements 
used for planting sticks; of the baskets and pottery vessels used 
for holding grain ; of the textile fabrics which were made from 
cotton ; of the mats and sandals made from corn leaves ; of the 
ears of corn found in the ruins ; of the corn meal, also discovered 
in small quantities, and of the store houses where the corn was 
stored, and other tokens. He says: " The most common imple- 
ment is a wooden stick, 1.4 metre "long, pointed like a sword at 
one end, and often furnished with a round knob at the other. 
This instrument closely resembles the stick used in planting 
maize. With it, a hole about fifty centimetres deep is made in 
the ground, andakernel of the maize is then dropped into the hole. 
The implements found in the cliff dwellings were probably used 
in the same manner. They also served as spades of a general 

"A circumstance which bears out the conjecture that these 
tools were used as planting sticks, is that the custom prevailed, 
both among the Cliff- Dwellers and the Moquis, of laying beside 
the corpse at the time of burial, one of these planting sticks, 
considering that the deceased ought not to enter upon his new 
existence without this important adjunct to the planting of maize. 
It seems that the same idea prevailed among the Cliff- Dwellers. 

" As a rule, the maize of the Cliff- Dwellers is smaller in ear 
than that cultivated by the Indians at the present day. It was 
probably grown, partly on the ruesa, and partly on the more 
gradual slopes, which were sometimes terraced. After the har- 
vest, the corn was stored in rooms set apart for this purpose in 
the bottom story of the cliff dwelling." 

Numerous fragments of cotton cloth have been found. The 
cotton plant was probably cultivated by the cliff people, at least 
in some localities, for cotton seeds have been found in the cliff 
dwellings of southern Utah, and cotton garments are also found. 
A mat, composed of withes split in two, held by the stiff cords 
of yucca, was found wrapped around a corpse in a grave at Step 
House ; a woven band, used in carrying bundles, made of yucca 
and cotton, was found in Ruin No. n,and a double- woven band 


in an estufas in Ruin No. 12; pieces of cotton cloth, with pat 
tern woven in threads of dark brown color, was found in Mug 
House ; a large basket of yucca in two different colors was found 
in Spruce Tree House ; a willow basket, tightly plaited, of osiers, 
was found in a grave at Step House, and a basket, coated on the 
outside with some substance to make it water-tight, was found 
at the same place. 

Marco de Nueva in 1539, was ^^ by ^ ne Indians of a great 
plain of about thirty days' travel, inhabited by people living in 
large towns built of stone and lime, who wore cotton garments, 
and who possessed an abundance of gold, turquoises and emeralds. 
This shows that cotton was cultivated in prehistoric times even 
by the natives of America, and that agriculture of various kinds 
was practiced by the Pueblos. 

.5 The use of shrines by the Cliff- Dwellers is evidence that 


they made permanent homes in the canyons, and depended upon 
agriculture for subsistence. Shrines are very common among 
the Pueblos, and are there attended by peculiar symbols, such as 
the symbol of the sun and moon, the suastika, the Nile key, the 
Egyptian tau, the Greek fret, and the coil. Dr. J. Walter Fewkes 
has recently discovered a large quantity of pottery, which con- 
tains some new and rare symbols, among them, the bird figure 
and reptilian figures, cloud emblems, spiral designs, arrows of a 
peculiar type, a sun emblem with white rays projecting from a 
black circle, the rays being arranged in a spiral form, but having 
notches in them, making them resemble notched plumes. This 
might be called the whirling sun. These symbols are supposed 



by some to have been introduced among the Pueblos later than 
the time of the Cliff- Dwellers. There is a food bowl with the 
figure of a masked dancer, among them. This food bowl was 
made of red ware with black lines. The pottery was taken from 
a ruin near the Gila River, at the pueblo Viego ; also at Four 
Mile Ruin, and near Taylor and Pine Dale, similar to that of the 
Salado River, near Tempe. A sacrificial cave was also discov- 
ered in the Graham Mountain, which was full of prayer emblems. 
Fragments of basketry were found with prayer sticks. The 
symbols on the decorated pottery of the pueblo Viego ruins are 
the same as that further down the Gila, and remotely related to 
the Little Colorado and its tributaries. 

The shrine and rock inscriptions of the Cliff-Dwellers* are 
different from any that have been found in the Pueblo region. 
They are generally placed underneath the huge bowlders which 
are common in the valleys, 
and are large enough to 
afford a shelter underneath 
them, as well as for a look- 
out or tower on the sum- 
mit. Mr. Gunckel 'has de- 
scribed several of them, one 
of which had a wall built 
up around the base of the 
boulder, inside of which 
was space enough for quite 
an assembly of devotees, 
the interior of the shrines 
being protected by shelving 

rock, which projectes over the shelter, making a dark 
space which was regarded as full of mystery to the people on 
account of its shadows. One boulder, which was used as a shrine, 
was^in the shape of an immenseskull, with holes in the rock, repre- 
senting eyes. This was called Boulder Castle and is situated two 
miles from the mouth of McElmo, and half a mile from the river. 
The rock is fifty feet high, in the midst of a wild, picturesque 
region, surrounded on all sides by immense sandstone boulders; 
ruins were on the top of the rock which, possibly, may have been 
used as a look out. The room below sloped back to a few inches 
in height. Back of the boulder, was an inclosure seven metres 
each way. Pictograplis, consisting of human feet, circles, animals 
and dumb bell figures, were found. Above Boulder Castle was 
a large cluster of ruined houses and towers, some of them round; 
others, square, and in the valley were springs with an abundant 
supply of water. The pictographs contained the same symbols 
which are found among the ruins of the south circles, crescents, 
human hands, serpents figures, the suastika, and the coil. 

The shrines here are more elaborate than those among the Pueblos further south, thongh 
they ramind us of the shrine and sacred spring ot the Znnis. 




Another shrine described by Mr. Gunckel was a sandstone 
rock in the shape of a toad stool; flat on the top, the shaft 
below. A wall has been constructed around this shaft, leaving 
an open space, which may have been used as a shrine, or as a 
double circle, or as a place of religious ceremony. This shelter 
cave is situated in Ruin Canon, fourteen miles from McElmo. 
6. The erection of towers and cliff dwellings in the neigh- 
borhood of springs and lakes, is another evidence that the cliff 
dwellings were permanent abodes. Major Powell has described 
ruins situated on the brink of Glen Canon, in the midst of the 

rocks of the Grand 
Colorado Canon. Here 
was a tower which gave 
a commanding outlook, 
and a building in the 
shape of the letter L. 

The most remark^ 
able tower, is the one at 
Montezuma Castle, first 
described by Dr. W. H. 
Hoffman, and referred 
to by many others. He 
says, that the Cliff- 
Dwellers occupied this 
valley for raising crops 
and for agricultural pur- 
poses, seems evident 
from the fact that it is 
the only favorable dis- 
trict found within a con- 
venient distance of the 
cliff remains, and also 
the nearest patch of irri- 
gable land upon which 
we find any traces of 
former occupation. 

An interesting place 
and one which was prob- 
ably used as a perman- 
ent home, is that called 
Montezuma Wells, on 

account of the sunken well or lake which exists there. It is in the 
same region as Montezuma Castle, and has been regarded as an 
agricultural settlement ; the houses which were here, being 
placed in the sides of the cliffs and near the lake or pond of 
clear water, for the sake of convenience. It was, however, near 
agricultural land, and only separated from the land by a narrow 
ridge of limestone, through which there was an opening which 
made a convenient gateway to the fields. Nowhere else, is there 
such a strange setting of a cliff village as here, and yet there is 
every reason to believe that it was a permanent settlement. 



Mr. Lummissays: " This sudden well in the gray limestone 
is about eighty feet deep, from rim to water level, and 200 yards 
in diameter. The walls are apparently as circular as man could 
have carved them. The tar-black lakelet at the bottom is of 
an unknown depth a 3So-foot line at my last visit (1^91) hav- 
ing failed to find bottom. On the side where Beaver Creek has 
eaten into the hill, there is left only the thinnest of rims to 
hold the ' well.' Yet between the creek and the ' well,' on this 
knife-edge rim of limestone, are huddled the ruins of one of 
the prehistoric Pueblo fort houses. A crumbled talus of ma- 
sonry, with its tallest remaining walls not to exceed eight feet, 
it is yet one of the most suggestive types of the ancient regime 
when the few first American farmers and home makers made 
head against the outnumbering vagrant savages and niggard 
wilderness. Below, along the pinched creek, were their tiny 
irrigated farms; up here, on the ridge-pole between two preci- 
pices was their communal town of several stories; and com- 
manded by it, their last retreat. The fort house absolutely 
controlled the only reasonable entrance to the well; the only 
other path down to the lake's edge, could be held by boys 
against an enemy." * 

The remarkable specimens of cliff villages, or cave houses, 
are those discovered by Mr. Carl Lumholtx. They were found 
in the midst of the mountains of Mexico These caves are 
situated on the Piedras Verdes, 6,850 feet above the sea. He 
says : 

They contain groups of houses, or small villages, and the houses are 
splendidly made of porphry and show that the inhabitants had attained a 
comparatively high culture. The dwellings were sometimes three stories 
in height, with small windows and doors made in the form of a cross or the 
letter T. and occasionally there were stone stair cases. The relics show 
that these people cultivated maize, beans and cotton, and knew the use of 

The caves, which number about fifty in a stretch of twenty miles, are 
from 100 to 200 teet above the bottom of the canyon, and the largest is some 
fifty feet high. At the entrance of one of the cave villages we were aston- 
ished to come upon a huge vessel made like an olla, or water jar, twelve 
feet high and twelve feet in diameter. The sides of it were eight inches 
in thickness and as hard as cement, the frame being made of straw ropes, 
coiled and plastered outside and inside with porphy pulp. At the bottom 
was a three-foot high entrance, through which a person could crawl in; the 
top, which was only three feet wide, was also open. It made a marvellous 
impression, looking at a distance like a huge balloon, and seen nearby, it 
was as fresh as if made a week before. I believe it was for the storage of 
maize. In one of the other caves we met with three ruins of similar, but 
smaller vessels, their circular bases only being left. There were built, 
also, some reservoirs for grain, dug down in the bottom of the caves. In 
the background of this cave, were the houses built in complete darkness. 
In the deepest caves the houses were built at the entrance, while in the 
smaller ones the houses were found at the back. It is to be noted that all 
the caves are natural/!* 

" Montexuma's Well in Land of Sunshine," by Chas. F. Lumrais. 

t " Report of (Explorations in Northern Mexico," by Carl Lumholt/. Published in Bulletin 
American Geographical Society, September 30, 1891. 


Mr. Lumholtz speaks of the Tarahumari, a wild people, who 
are scarcely raised above the Troglodytes in their social con- 
dition. He says : 

They are much inferior to the Cliff Dwellers; their pottery is exceed- 
ingly crude, and they are utterly devoid of the architectural skill exhibited 
in the remarkable structures of the northern Cliff- Dwellers. These cavts 
are fitted up as their houses, with the same utensils, grinding stones, baskets 
and jars; the fires in the middle of the cave. The store houses, so neces- 
sary to the household lite for storing corn and clothing, is never missing in 
the caves. They are built of stone and adobe along the inner walls, and 
serve as big closets. These store houses are quite an institution. They are 
found everywhere in remote places, perched generally on high rocks or 
boulders. Very often caves, difficult of access and walled-in, are used as 
store houses. 

The Tarahumaris, according to their own tradition, came from the 
north and east, the same country as the Apaches.* 

III. The most remarkable thing about the agriculture of 
the Pueblos and, perhaps, the Cliff-Dwellers, is the Snake Dance 
and its connection with the rain. It is not generally known 
that the real purpose and intent of this dance is, to 
secure rain, and that it is a prayer to the rain gods, who dwell 
in the clouds, and are symbolized by lightning and the clouds 
which assume the shape of serpents. To the white man this 
seems far fetched and purely imaginary, but to the aboriginal 
mind, there was always an unconscious habit of associating 
supernatural beings with the natural, making the material 
object a symbol of the immaterial force. The natural powers 
and the supernatural creatures were closely related. Their 
imagination was so active and vivid, that they recognized 
resemblances which would escape the attention of ordinary 
minds, and their superstition changed the resemblance into 

There were three ways in which they expressed their beliefs 
and made known their wants; all of which might be called 
prayers. The first was by a symbolic picture; the second was 
by an image decorated with various symbols and ornaments, 
and the third was by a sacred drama in which the divinities 
were personified. Under the first head may be embraced the 
sand paintings or mosaics, in which the rain clouds, the light- 
ning, the sky, the sun and the nature powers were all repre- 
sented. The sacred screens also represented the same elements. 
It will be noticed that corn is also represented in connection 
with these screens and altars. Among the Navajos, not only 
corn, but beans, vines and other plants are represented as under 
the care of certain divinities. 

Under the second head, must be included the great number 
of dolls which abound among the Pueblos, and are supposed 
to have a remarkable significance. They are decorated with 
feathers, which symbolize the clouds, and have others symbols 
of the rains and nature powers. 

'"American Cave-Dwellers; the Tarahumaris of the Sierra Madre," by Carl Lumholtz 
u blished in the Bulletin American Geographical Society, September 30, 1894. 





Under the third head, may be embraced all the sacred 
dramas in which are the sacred myths and legends which have 
been inherited and are embodied in elaborate ceremonies, and 
are personified by men, women and children, who take part in 
the dances and songs. 

The myth which lies back of the so-called Snake Dance, is 
one that relates to some event in the early history of the peo- 
ple, and as connected with the scarcity of rain. It is a myth, 
which is told by the Tusayans in reference to their ancestors, 
but it also prevails among other tribes; and it is not at all 
unlikely that the Cliff-Dwellers had a similar myth and a 
similar custom, for there are rock-inscriptions near the cliff 
dwellings, which represent serpents and other symbols, closely 
resembling those of the Pueblos. 

Mr J. Walter Fewkes, who is the best authority on the sub- 

ject, after long study, concludes that the Snake Dance, which 
he saw in three pueblos Walpi, Oraibi and Hano, was not 
only a rain ceremony, a pantomime of prayer for rain; but was 
also connected with corn worship, especially as the symbols of 
corn are. present on every side. No clew could be obtained in 
regard to the deity addressed. There are, however, figures of 
rain clouds, which, so far as they go, prove that rain worship 
was one of the prominent features, but the personages in the 
drama, especially the girls in the Flute ceremony, and the 
Snake Maiden in the Tusayan ritual, represent the Corn or 
Germ Maids; the images also repiesent the same. The girls 
have figures of corn painted on their body, and images which 
are highly elaborated into dolls are called " calako," corn 
maids. These dolls have characteristic symbols on their 


cheeks, the same rain cloud ornament on the head, an ear of 
corn on the forehead, eyes of different colors, and painted 
chin. The Snake Maid, in the dramatization, holds a bowl of 
stalks of corn and bean vines. The Flute girls carry corn 
pahos on which corn is depicted. The entrance of the Flute 
girls into the town on the ninth day of the Flute ceremony, 
corresponds, according to legends, to the entrance of the Corn 

By a similar course of reasoning, Mr. Fewkes concludes 
that the Walpi Snake Dance perhaps represents the same corn 
worship, combined with ram worship. This is celebrated by 
men, who carry reptiles in their mouths; but the Walpi 
" Lalakonti " is a sky god. He is a renowned hero, appearing 
in different disguises, and is called White Corn, and was one of 
seven brothers who sought and found a maiden in a cave. She 
became his bride It was noticed that her prayers for rain were 
efficacious. She conceived; in a tempest a child was born, and 
she erected the rain cloud altar in her native home. White 
Corn and his wife retired to a distant mesa, where she gave 
birth to reptiles and disappeared. 

The description of these dances hase been given by Mr. J. 
Walter Fewkes, at great length. There is a story connected 
with them, and it is as follows : 

A youth, under guidance of Spider-woman, visited the underworld and 
had many adventures with several myst'C beings. He entered a room where 
people were clothed in snake skins and was initiated into mysterious cere- 
monies, in which he learned prayers which bring corn and rain. He received 
two maidens, associated with clouds, who knew the songs and prayers effi- 
cacious to bring rams. He carried them to the upperworld to his own peo- 
ple. One, the Snake-woman he married; the other became the bride of the 
Flute-youth. His wife gave birth to reptiles; he left them and their mother, 
and migrated to another country.* 

The main points in all the stories are, when compared, as 

A culture hero sought a mystic land blessed with abundance, and 
brought from that favored place, the Corn and Rain Maids, whose worship 
or prayer was powerful in bringing food and rain. ' Stripped of pathetic em- 
bellishment, the legend has a practical interpretation. The two necessities, 
corn and rain, failed the ancient Hopi at some early epoch in their history, 
so that they were in danger of starvation, when one of their number, fur- 
nished with prayer offerings as sacrifices, sought other people who knew 
prayers, songs and rites to bring the desired gifts. In order to learn the?e 
charms, he was initiated into their priesthood by this foreign people, and to 
make that adoption complete, married one of their maids, and, to save his 
brethren, he brought his bride and offspring to live with his own people. 
His children were like tho^c of her familv (the Snake clan), and unlike tn>, 
and hence trouble- arose between them. The mother returned 1o her own 
1 uid. and the father also sought a new home. Their children inherited the 
the prayers and songs which bring corn and rain, and they were ancestors 
of the present Snake people. 

So it is. I believe, that every year, when the proper tim. . omes, the men 
of the Snake family, who have "been initiated into the Snake fraternity, and 

"Tusayan Snake Ceremonies," by Jesse Walter Fewkes. Annual Report Bureau ol 
Ethnology, 1894-95; p. 303. 



the descendants to whom these prayers, songs and fetishes were transmitted, 
assemble, and in order that their work may resemble the ancestral, and be 
more efficacious, they gather the reptiles from the fields; dance with them, 
as of old; personating their mother, the Corn and Mist Maids, in the kiva 
dramatization, and at the close of the dance, say their prayers in hearing of 
the reptiles, that they may repeat them to higher dc-ities. 

While this theory of the Snake Dance is plausible, it offers no .explana- 
tion of why reptiles are carried in the mouths of the priests. It can readily 
be seen that it pre-stipposes that they dance in the plaza with the priests, 
but why are they not simply carried in the hands? For this, 1 confess, I 
have no adequate explanation; but the fact that they are carried in the 
hands as well as in the mouth at Oraibi is suggestive, especially if the 
Oraibi is the most primitive. 

Some daring priest, for a sensation, still holding the reptile in this way, 
put its neck in his mouth, possibly to prevent its coiling and hiding its size. 



That method was startling, and was adopted by all, a condition which 
persists at Oraibi. 

The public exhibition called the Antelope Dance, on the afternoon of 
the eighth day, is evidently connected with corn celebrations, for at that 
time a wad of cornstalks and melon vines, instead of the reptiles, is carried 
in the mouths of the priests, as on the following day. 

The episode in the Snake kiva at Walpi, when the bear and puma per- 
sonators carried cornstalks in their mouths and moved ihem before the faces 
of the men, women and children, has probably the same significance. 
The pinches of different colored sand which were taken from the sand 
picture of the antelopes before it was dismantled, were carried to the corn- 
fields, as symbolic of the different colored corn, they hoped their prayers 
would bring, conformably to the legend of its efficacy in that d rection 

The Snake Dance is ah elaborate prayer for rain, in which the reptiles 
are gathered from the fields, intrusted with the prayers of the people, and 


then given their liberty, to bear these petitions to the divinities who can 
bring the blessings of copious rains to the parched and arid farms of the 
Hopis. It is, also, a dramatisation of an ancient half mythic, half historic 
legend dealing with the origin and migration of the two fraternities which 
celebrate it, and by transmission through unnumbered generations of 
priests has become conventionalized to a degree, and possibly the actors 
themselves could not now explain the significance of every detail of the 

The seriousness and gravity with which the ceremonials are conducted 
is very impressive. The ceremonies are religious and make up the compli- 
cated worship of the people of Tusayan. Kven a visitor, bent on sightsee- 
ing, will be impressed with the seriousness of the Indian dancers, and the 
evidence of deep feeling perhaps it should be called devotion in the 
onlookers. Not only in the sombre Snake Dance, but in every other cere- 
mony of Tusayan, the actors are inspired by one purpose, and that is to 


persuade the gods to give rain and abundant crops. So the birds that fly, 
the reptiles that crawl, are made messengers to the great nature gods with 
petitions; and the different ancestors and people in the underworld are 
notified that the ceremony is going on, that they, too, may give their aid. 
The amount of detail connected with the observance of one of the cere- 
monies is almost beyond belief, and, being carried on in the dark kiva, has 
rarely been witnessed by others than the initiated priests. 

The following is the description of the Snake Dance : 

The grand entrance of the Snake priests is dramatic to the last degree. 
With majestic strides they hasten into the plaza, every attitude full of 
energy and fierce determined purpose. The costume of the priests of the 
sister society of Antelopes is gay in comparison with that of the Snake 
priests. Their bodies rubbed with red paint, their chins blackened and 



outlined with a white stripe, their dark red kilts and moccasins, their bar- 
baric ornaments, give the Snake priests a most sombre and diabolical 
appearance. Around the plaza, by a wider circuit than the Ante- 
lopes, they go, striking the sipapu plank with the foot, and finally 
leaping upon it with wild gestures. Four times the circuit is made; then 
a line is formed facing the line of the Antelopes, who cease shaking their 
rattles, which simulate the warning note of the rattle snake. A moment's 
pause and the rattles begin again, and a deep, humming chant accompanies 
them. The priests sway from side to side, sweeping their eagle-feather 
snake whips toward the ground; the song grows louder and the lines sway 
backward and forward toward each other, like two long undulating serpents. 
The bearer of the medicine walks back and forth between the lines and 
sprinkles the charm liquid to the compass points. 

All at once the Snake line breaks up into groups of three, composed 
of the "carrier" and two attendants. The song oecomes more animated 
and the groups dance, or rather hop, around in a circle in front of the kisi ; 

one attendant (the " hugger ") placing 
his arm over the shoulder of the "car- 
rier." and the other (the "gatherer") 
walking behind. In all this stir and 
excitement it has been rather difficult 
to see why the "carrier" dropped on 
his knees in front of the kisi ; a mo- 
ment later, he is seen to rise with a 
squirming snake, which he places 
midway in his mouth, and the trio 
dance around the circle, followed by 
other trios bearing hideous snakes. 
The "hugger" waves his feather 
wand befote the snake to attract its 
attention, but the reptile inquiringly 
thrusts its head against the "carrier's" 
breast and checks and twists its body 
into knots and coils. On come the de- 
moniacal groups, to music, now deep 
' and resonant, and now rising to a 
frenzied pitch, accompanied by the 

CARRIKR, HUGGER AND GATHERER, unceasing sibilant rattles of the Ante- 
lope chorus. Four times around, and 

the " carrier" opens his mouth and drops the snake to the ground, and the 
' gatherer " dextiously picks it up, adding in the same manner, from time to 
time, other snakes, till he may have quite a bundle composed of rattle 
snakes, bull snakes and arrow snakes. The bull snakes are large and 
showy, and impressive out of proportion to their harmfulness. When all 
the snakes have been duly danced around the ring, and the nerve tension is 
at its highest piich, there is a pause; the old priest advances to an open 
place and sprinkles sacred meal on the ground, out lining a ring with the 
six compass points, while the snake priests gather around. At a given 
signal, the snakes are thrown on the meal drawing and a wild scramble for 
them ensues, amid a rain of spittle from the spectators on the walls above. 
Only an instant and the priests start up, each with one or more snakes; away 
they dart for the trail to carry the rain-bringing messengers to their native 
hiding places. They dash down the mesa and reappear far out on the 
trails below, running like the wind with their grewsome burdens. The 
Antelope priests next march gravely around the plaza four times, thumping 
the sunken plank, and file out to their kiva. The ceremony is done.* 

" The Maki Snake Dance," by Walter Hough, Ph. D. Published by the Passenger fie- 
partment of the Santa Fe Route. 



We spoke in the last chapter of the agriculture which was 
practiced by the Cliff-Dwellers, and its effect upon their social 
condition and village life. We shall treat of the same subject 
in this chapter, but shall illustrate it by the irrigating con- 
trivances which were especially useful to the Pueblos and to 
the tribes south and west of the Cliff-Dwellers. 

I. Our first effort will be to show the connection between 
the irrigation practised by the Pueblos and their social condi- 
tion. There was, perhaps, no influence so strong as this. It 
affected not only their social status, but their form of govern- 
ment, their style of architecture, their art, and everything 
which was important. It secured to them subsistence in the 
midst of an arid region. It brought about a permanence of 
settlement. It concentrated the people into. large communities. 
The most notable advantage was that irrigation from the very 
beginning gave the people a strength which enabled them to 
overcome all the difficulties in their way, and to hold their 
position among the peoples of that region. 

i. It seems strange that in this remote region and amid the 
unfavorable surroundings, that the Pueblos should have devel- 
oped so thoroughly and kept themselves up to the high grade 
which they had reached. In the midst of an arid region, with a 
climate which seemed to be always unfavorable to agriculture; 
surrounded by mountains which kept the clouds from gather- 
ing, with rocks and mesas whose height was forbidding, with 
streams which had through countless ages worn deep channels 
in the rocks and now flowed at immense distances below the 
surface, with everything unfavorable, they presented at the time 
of the discovery a form of society and a mode of life which 
were totally unlike any other upon the face of the earth. How 
do we account for this? 

It is a common opinion that man is everywhere influenced by 
his surroundings, and whatever grade of civilization he has 
reached has been owing to this circumstance. Here, however, 
there seems to be an exception, for, if any people were ever 
placed in unfavorable surroundings, it was the Pueblos. There 
were tribes in their midst, who remained in the wild state, and 
who continued the hunter-life, roaming over the hill tops and 
through the valleys as nomads; building their rude huts, which 
they easily took down and removed to new places-; but this 
people from an early date led a peaceful sedentary life, built 
their many-storied houses, were organized into villages, made 


their houses their castles, and made permanent homes, and in 
all respects presented a contrast to their enemies, who were 
constantly besieging them. Even when driven to the cliffs, 
and compelled to make their homes high up in the rocks, they 
maintained their superiority and kept up their grade of culture, 
refusing to yield to their enemies. 

There were other tribes far to the east, who had occupied 
the Mississippi valley from time immemorial, and amid the 
abundance which was secured from the soil, and the ease with 
which subsistence was gained from the forest, had never 
reached any such a grade of progress, certainly never exhibited 
any such social condition. There were tribes to the west, who 
in the midst of the wonderful productiveness of the California 
fields and forests, were in the most abject state and were the 
lowest of the low. The only people who ever reached a 
higher grade than the Pueblos, were those who were situated in 
the southwest, and amid their peculiar surroundings had grown 
into partially civilized and well-organized nations. We look 
upon this people, whom we call the Pueblos, with a constant 
surprise, and wonder how it was that they should have become 
so conspicuous among their fellows. 

Was this owing to their inheritance and because they 
belonged to a superior stock of people, or was it because 
under unfavorable circumstances, they were forced into a mode 
of life and compelled to choose an occupation which uncon- 
sciously resulted in their improvement and social progress? It 
is plain that the Pueblo culture was a child of adversity, and 
this, of itself, was the cause of their superiority, rather than 
any constitutional tendency or their inherited quality. As we 
study their sluggish nature and their ease-loving character, we 
are convinced that they were no more heroic than others. The 
only key to the solution of the problem, which we can dis- 
cover, is the one which is found in their employment: It was 
agriculture by means of irrigation. This was a necessity, but 
it was one which brought its own reward; a misfortune which 
brought a fortune in return. Those who are studying sociologi- 
cal problems, may possibly learn a lesson from this. The em- 
ployments of the people have as much to do with the peculiar 
condition of society as any one cause, and the social distinctions 
are always, even in modern times, the result of employment. 

2. Let us consider for a moment the situation. We have 
already spoken of the great plateau on which the pueblos are 
situated, as being very peculiar in its character, and as having 
a great effect upon the architecture which appears here. The 
buildings were often imitative of the rocks, and the terraced 
roofs resembled those found in the sides of the mesas. We 
have spoken, also, of the aridity of the soil and the absolute 
necessity for irrigation on account of it. We have also referred 
to the religious customs of the people, and especially those 
customs which grew out of their desire for rain; their cere- 
monies all concentrated upon this thought, and their sacred 



dramas were often personifications of the rain cloud. There is, 
however, one point which we desire to accentuate, and that is 
the resemblance between the Pueblos and those nations at the 
east, which so early arose to prominence because of their 
sedentary life and agricultural condition, and especially because 
they were able to overcome the difficulties with which they 
were surrounded. 

3. We see the influence of agriculture, in the state of society 
which prevailed, for it raised the entire people to ?. higher 
plane. Notwithstanding the difference of their situation, the 
diversity of their language, the separation of the tribes, and 
the distances between their villages, their unity was complete, 
because of the fact that they were agriculturists, rather than 
hunters, and because in their agriculture they depended upon 
irrigation. They had to combine to build their irrigating 
ditches, and to keep them in repair; and were led by this to 
continue the same sedentary life which they had begun, and to 


remain in the same region where they had first built their com- 
munistic houses, and perpetuate the same government which 
they had inherited from their fathers, as well as to keep up the 
religious practices which their ancestors observed before them. 
We can not say that it was an ethnic type which was perpetuated, 
nor an ethnic descent which produced either their style of archi- 
tecture or their mode of life, though their social organization, 
especially their clan-life, may be owing to these causes. 

The radical difference between them and the tribes which 
surrounded them, was not in language or descent, but in em- 
ployment. This is the thought which we desire to illustrate. 
The village life and the agricultural pursuits of the Pueblos are 
the chief causes which resulted in their high grade of civili/a- 

*The arrangement of dwellings about a court, characteristic of the ancient Pueblos, is 
illustrated by the cut The kiva is in the centre of the court, which is well drained; 



tion. This is a thought which has impressed other minds, and 
has often been dwelt upon by other authors. Mr. Morgan, 
who is a great authority upon the social life of the American 
aborigines and has written one of the best books on ancient 
society, was impressed by the fact that the Pueblos reached so 
high a grade of civilization, and that they stood next to the 
civilized people who dwelt in the southwest provinces, and 
who were the builders of the ancient cities, many of which are 
now in ruins. He ascribes it largely to their village life and 
their social organizations, but recognizes agriculture, also, as 
one of the factors. He says: 

The Yucatan and Central American Indians were, in their architecture, 
in advance of the remaining aborigines of North America. Next to them, 
probably, were the Aztecs, and some few tribes southward. Holding the 


third position, though not far behind, were the Village Indians of New 
Mexico. They all alike depended upon horticulture for subsistence, and 
cultivated by irrigation; cotton be ng superadded to the maize, beans, 
squashes, and tobacco, cultivated by the northern tribes. Their houses, 
with those previously described, represent together an original indigenous 
architecture, which, with its diversities, sprang out of their necessities. Its 
fundamen'al communal type, is found not less clearly in the houses about 
to be described, and in the so called palace of Palenque, than in the long 
house of the Iroquois An examination of the plan of the structures in 
New Mexico and Central America will tend to establish the truth of this 

At the time of Coronado's expedition to capture the Seven Cities of 
Cibola, so called in the " Relations" of the period, the aborigines of New 
Mexico manufactured earthen vessels of large size and excellent workman- 

Storage houses, like the one represented in the cur, are common on the Rio de Chelly. 
The doors are large and wide to admit the carrying of corn stalks into them, as well as 
storing the corn. Such store houses were sometimes covered with plaster, imitating the color 
of the cliffs, for the purpose of concealment. 



ship; wove cotton fabrics with spun thread; cultivated irrigated gardens; 
were armed with bows, arrows, and shields; wore deer-skins and buffalo- 
robes, and also cotton mantles, as external garments, and had domesticated 
the wild turkey. 

What was true of the Cibolans in this respect, was doubtless true of the 
sedentary Indians in general. Each pueblo was an independent organiza- 
tion under a council of chiefs, except as several contiguous pueblos, speak- 
ing dialects of the same language, were confederated for mutual protection, 
of which the seven Cibolan pueblos, situated, probably, in the valley of the 
Rio Chaco, within an extent of twelve miles, afford a fair example. The 
degree of their advancement is more conspicuously shown in their house 
architecture. The supposit on is reasonable that the Village Indians north 
of Mexico had attained their highest culture an I development where these 
structures are iound. They are similar in style and plan to the present 
occupied pueblos in New Mexico, but superior in construction, as stone is 
superior to adobe, or to cobble stone and mortar. They are also equal, if 
not superior, in size and in extent of their accomodation, to any Indian 
pueblos ever constructed in Norih America. This fact gives additional 
interest to the ruins which are here to be considered. The finest structures 
of the Village Indians of New Mexico, and northward of its present 
boundary line, are found on the San Juan and its tributaries, unoccupied 


and in ruins. Even the regions in which they are principally situated are 
not now occupied by this class of Indians, but are roamed over by wild 
tribes of the Apaches and the Utes. 

The most conspicuous cluster of the ruined and deserted pueblos are 
in the canyon or valley of the Rio Chaco. At the period of the highest 
prosperity the valley of Chaco must have possessed remarkable advantages 
for subsistence. The plain between the walls of the canyon was between 
half a mile and a mile in width, but the amount of water now passing 
through is small. In July, according to Lientenant Simpson, the running 
stream was eight feet wide, and a foot and a half deep, at one of the 
pueblos; while Mr. Jackson found no running water and the valley entirely 
dry in the month of May, with the exception of pools of water in places 
and a reservoir of pure water in the rocks at the top of the bluff. The con- 
dition of the region is shown by these two statements. During the rainy 
season in the summer, which is also the season of the growing crops, there 
is an abundance of water; while in the dry season it is confined to springs 
pools, and reservoirs. From the number of pueblos in the valley, indicating 
a population of several thousand, the gardens within it must have yielded 
a large amount of subsistence; the climate being favorable to its growth 
and ripening.* 

4. The social organization of the Pueblos was closely con- 

*" Houses and House-life," page 171. 



nected with their employment, and was almost a necessity 
under the circumstances. Property rights and titles and own- 
ership in fee simple of land did not prevail in prehistoric times, 
but was a possessory right, which came from irrigation, and 
which was almost equal in its advantages. The limitations 
upon its alienation to an Indian from another tribe, or to a 
white man, did not lie in the absence of written titles or con- 
veyances of land, but in the necessities of the case. There 
was no power to alienate an irrigating ditch, and there would 
be no value to the land where the ditch could not be kept up. 
" The ideas of the people respecting the ownership or the 
absolute title to land, with pow^r to alienate to anyone else, 
were entirely above their conception of property and its uses." 
The occupation of a certain district was a right in itself, and 
was title enough. The inheritance was not that of children 
i from father and mother, but of a tribe from its ancestry, and 


from those who built the village to those who continued to live 
in it. The same is true with respect to irrigating ditches, and 
even in respect to the sections of the village garden. There 
was a social organization which secured this result. 

The government was composed of the following persons, all of whom, 
except the first, were elected annually: First, a cacique or principal 
sachem; second, a governor or alcalde; third, a lieutenant governor; fourtth, 
a war captain, and a lieutenant war captain; fifth, six fiscals or policemen. 
"The cacique." Mr. Miller says, "has the general control of all the officers 
in the performance of their duties, transacts the business of the pueblo 
with the surrounding whites, Indian agents, etc., and imposes reprimands or 
severer punishments upon delinquents. He is the keeper of the archives 
of the pueblo; for example, he has in his keeping the United States patent 
for the tract of four square leagues on which the pueblo stands, which was 
based upon the Spanish grant of 1689; also deeds of other purchased lands, 
adjoining the pueblo. He. holds his office for life. At his death, the peo- 
ple ele^t his successor. The cacique may, before his death, name his suc- 

The cut shows the difference between the architecture of the anciant Pueblo tribes in 
Sonora and those in New Mexico and Coloi ado, especially in the absence of the court. 
Both belong to agricultural tribes. 



cessor, but the nomination must be ratified by the people, represented by 
their principal men assembled in estufa." In this cacique may be recog- 
nized the sachem of the northern tribes, whose duties were purely of a 
civil character.* 

In this simple government we have a fair sample, in sub- 
stance and in spirit, of the ancient government of New 
Mexico. Each pueblo was an independent organization, under 
a council of chiefs, except as several pueblos were confederated 
for mutual protection. Through all this region there was one 
mode of house architecture, as there was substantially one 
mode of life. The country was of that character which would 
force them to herd together in villages. The very wildness of 
the region and its aridity required that there should be centres 
of population, which would constitute the homes of the clans, 
as well as the defenses of the people. Their subsistence being 
secured by means of irrigating the soil, they were naturally 
led to combine together, not only to build, but to keep in 


repair and defend a canal, as well as to defend their rights to 
it. It is probable that the people were from an early date sur- 
sounded by wild tribes, and were subject to invasions and were 
compelled to make their permanent homes upon the mesas, or, 
if they made them in the valleys, to build them in such a way 
as to repell a sudden attack from a prowling foe. The fact, 
however, that modern pueblos are at a distance from the 
streams and out of reach of the floods, shows that the people 
regarded their safety as important even as their subsistence, 
the permanent homes being somewhat remote from the val- 
leys, but their farming shelters being in the midst of the fields. 
We see, then, that agriculture, and especially agriculture by 
irrigation, .was a cause, as well as a product of the social 

*" Houses and House-life," page 147. 

fThis cut represents the architecture of the partially-civilized people of Yucatan and 


advancement of the Pueblos. This is always the case with primi- 
tive society. It is a new era to any people when the field 
begins to yield its products, instead of the forest. The stream 
may furnish subsistence to wandering tribes, but when it is 
diverted from its course and carried in artificial channels, and 
made to irrigate the soil, it becomes another creature. It 
becomes a handmaid of civilization. It then leads the people 
unconsciously to fix their habitation by its side, and to remain 
permanently in their villages. The association of the Pueblo 
architecture with the art of irrigation, is the most natural 
thing in the world. Both came from the same causes, and 
involved the same modi; of life. They came from the force of 
circumstances, but were alike useful to the people. 

II. Let us turn to the various contrivances which were 
resorted to by the Pueblos for storing water and for irrigating 
the soil. These have attracted the attention of all the early 
explorers, and have also been objects of study by the later 
expeditions, and are now pretty well known. They show the 
skill of the people, and they illustrate their grade of culture 
and throw much light upon their social organization. They are 
especially interesting, because of the fact that white men have 
settled in the same region and were obliged to resort to some 
of the same means of irrigation in order to develop its 
resources, and provide against its difficulties. It is an old 
motto that " Necessity is the mother of invention," but the 
children are sometimes slow to learn the lesson. The Pueblos, 
however, were the children of Nature, and learned from 
experience to adapt themselves to Nature in all her varying 
moods. We do not know how early they began to practice 
irrigation, nor do we know the time when they began to build 
their communistic houses; but a fair supposition is that it was 
after they settled in the region, when they had learned of the 
scarcity of the water supply and the uncertainty of the rain. 
They were then led by the force of circumstances to resort to 
this means of securing subsistence. This probably occurred 
before the wild tribes entered the region, and, perhaps, before 
the caves were occupied. Some have supposed that the caves 
were their first abodes, and that the people gradually grew into 
the habit of building nouses; first out of wood and bark, next 
out of adobe, and lastly out of stone, and that they in the 
meantime changed from nomads into agriculturists; but find- 
ing that ordinary agriculture was difficult to follow, on account 
of the lack of rain, were led by the force of circumstances to 
resort to irrigation. 

We conclude that all these contrivances for storing water 
for irrigating the valleys, and for making the soil everywhere 
as productive as was possible in such an arid region, were 
original inventions which show the genius of the people. It is 
certainly, very interesting to go over the different parts of this 
great plateau, and see how the people provided against the 



drought, and how carefully they studied the changes of nature, 
and developed her resources. Not one, but many ways were 
resorted to in making the soil productive. These will be seen 
as we proceed, but may be mentioned briefly: I, The simplest 
plan was to depend upon the rain for the crops, and to make 
the springs supply the people for domestic purposes. There 
were no cattle or sheep, or herds of any kind, which required 
water, but the people needed a constant supply. The result 
was that the houses were placed near some spring where water 
was constant. The pueblos were also placed near springs and 
lakes. The Zuni pueblo was near a spring, which became 
sacred, and around which were sacred vessels which were cov- 
ered with figures of the water-animals and were sacred to the 


water divinities. This has been described by Lieut. Simpson 
and many other travelers. The springs which flowed out of 
the caves and from beneath the ledges, where the Cliff 
Dwellings were placed, have been described by Mr. Holmes, 
Mr. Jackson, Mr. Lewis W. Gunckel, and by other explorers in 
that region. 

2. It was probably owing to the fact that springs were so 
numerous among the mountain regions which bordered on the 
Pueblo territories on all sides, that they were chosen as the 
abodes of various tribes; some of whom made their homes in 
caves, and others built their stone houses into the sides of the 
cliffs, and so may be called Cliff-Dwellers. The most of these 
were agriculturists, though they depended upon the rain and 
ordinary cultivation rather than irrigation. 


The best known Cliff-Dwellers are those situated to the 
north of the Pueblo territory in the San Juan valley, but others 
have been discovered among the mountains far to the south- 
west. These have been described by Mr, Carl Lumholtz, and 
already described, but we refer to them again, for they show 
the character of the Cliff-Dwellers generally. 

Springs have been discovered in the Pueblo region, which 
were destroyed or killed by the people when they left the vil- 
lage in which they dwelt. They did this by filling them up. 
The springs were sometimes at a distance from the villages. 
Drinking water was carried by women in jars or urns placed on 
their heads, or carried in a net thrown over their shoulders. 
The village of Acoma was supplied in this way. It was perched 
on a high mesa, and all the water was carried up by the women. 

Mr. Bandelier says: 

The presence' of ancient villages on the high mesas west of the Rio 
Grande, near Santa Fe, in places of difficult access, without communication 
with the river banks, need not surprise us. Here, the rainv season is toler- 
ably regular. Indian corn would grow without artificial watering. Springs 
would supply the wants of the people.* 

Dr T. M. Prudden says: 

To one who has travelled much in the southwest plateau country, and 
knows not only just how dry it is, but, also, just how dry it is not, the 
residence of these early peoples in small, scattered communities along the 
now remote canyons and valleys, is neither surprising nor mysterious. 
There was warmth and shelter the year round, and for those who had 
learned to build, there were houses half made already by the cave walls 
and cliffs. It does not require very much food for bare existence, and a 
very small patch of corn suffices for a family. While springs and pools 
are rare, there are a good many places, in valleys apparently dry the sum- 
mer through; in which the seepage from the back country comes down 
some way in the hills, and furnishes moisture enough for a crop of corn. 
The beds of dry streams, also, where sand is plenty, are often moist beneath 
the surface.t 

3. Tanks have been discovered by explorers among the cliff 
dwellings. One of them was situated near the High House, 
seven hundred feet above the stream, just outside of the house. 
It was reached by passing out of the window or door in the 
side of the house, passing clown by the aid of pegs to the 
water. Another was found in the Caflon De Chelly, at the end 
of the ledge on which was a village or cliff dwelling. This 
tank was filled with water, which was taken out of the stream 
U-'ow and drawn up by a rope, and poured into the tank. It 
was reached by passing along the narrow ledge, which led from 
it to the village or cluster of houses, and could not be destroyed 
by any prowling foe. 

Mr. Bandelier speaks of tanks near Casa Grande; one with 
a depth of eight and one-half feet, which is surrounded by an 
embankment about eight or ten feet in length. He says: 

Bandelier's Final Report, Part II., page 16. 
t See Harper's Magazine, June, 1897. 


Between Casa Grande and Florence the distance is nine miles. Several 
ancient irrigating ditches are seen on the road, some of which are quite 
deep. In one place I found an elliptical tank, almost as large as the one at 
Casa Grande and presenting a singular appearance. Lined water conduits 
are found at Tule, Arizona, and others at Casas Grandes in Sonora. The vil- 
lage of Tabira had four large artirical pools from which the people derived 
drinking water. The Pueblo Acoma subsists to-day upon the water col- 
lected into picturesque basins on the top of the rock, three hundred and 
fifty feet above the utterly dry valley. To such and nmilar devices the 
New Mexican villager had to resort, and it was a relief to him when he 
could nestle by the side of a permanent river, and raise beans and cala- 
bashes with the aid of primitive channels of irrigation. The tribes on the 
Rio Grande and people of Taos and Pecos enjoyed such privileges more 
than any of the other tribes. With them irrigation was easy, and frequent 
mention is made of it by the older writers. 

4. There were reservoirs on the mesas, which were constructed 
by placing dams across the channels or water-spouts; leaving 
the low places to be filled with rain during the summer, or 
melted snow in the spring. There was a contrivance for sup- 
plying the wants of the village, which was very ingenious. It 
consisted of making a series of reservoirs, some of them above 
the village, some of them below, and causing the water to flow 
through the court, where it was used for domestic purposes, and 

afterward gathered 
into a pond and 
then distributed to 
the fields. One 
such existed at 
Pecos. Another 
was found at 
Quivira. Both 
have been de- 
scribed by Mr. 
Bandelier. The 
latter is represent- 
ed in the cut. 

5. There were lakes in places, which furnished an abundant 
supply. .There was a sacred lake near Walpi, which was visited 
by Mrs Stevenson, Prof. Tylor, and others. It was regarded 
as the home of the children, who were lost, but whose spirits 
were allowed to visit the Pueblos at their sacred feasts and 
carry the sacred waters to the little children, who were gathered 
in the estufas, and were permitted to drink from the bowls 
handed to them by the priests at the time of their initiation. 

The lake called " Montezuma Wells" has been described. 
This was near a large area of agricultural land, but was sur- 
rounded by cliffs, in the sides of which are many interesting 
cliff dwellings. The well or pond must have furnished an 
abundant supply of water for the use of the people. 

6. There were streams near which the pueblos were built, and 
which supplied the wants of the people, but were not used for 
irrigating purposes, as the rain was depended upon mainly. 
The Chaco was such a stream. Here, there were fourteen vil- 



lages scattered along the banks; all of them large, and once 
filled with a flourishing population. It was a rich valley, and 
was probably once filled with garden beds and fields of maize, 
which furnished an abundant subsistence. The valley was 
deserted probably before the advent of the white man, but was, 
perhaps, abandoned on account of the invasion of the savages. 

7. The so-called garden beds or hanging gardens, which were 
built in terraces on the sides of the mesas, are very interesting. 
They remind us of the hanging gardens of the Kast, and of 
the terraces on the Alps, where grapes are raised, and the 
ancient ridges in Great Britain, which have excited so much 
curiosity among the archaeologists.* 

Garden beds of a peculiar construction are found on the 
Sonora River in Arizona. They are described as follows by 
Mr. A. F. Bandelier: 

Rows of boulders, such as could be picked up in the bed of the torrent, 
were laid on the ground parallel to one another, intersected by transverse 
rows at irregular angles, thus forming rectangular areas of various lengths. 
They look like rude dams laid across the course of the Arroya. They were 
so laid in order to keep a certain expanse of ground free from the drift 
brought in by the streams, and to keep the Hoods from canying away the 
crops. These contrivances belong to the kind of agricultural expedients 
by means of which the waters of the mountain torrents were made to 
serve for the irrigation of crops planted in their path. 

Between Santiago and the foot of the Sierra Madre are dams and dykes 
which extend across the Arroyas. Between the dykes are more or less 
regular shaped plots of till ible land, called by the inhabitants " Labores," 
or tilled patches. Connected with these artific at garden beds are ruins of 
houses, which are small buildings containing from two to four rooms. 

Mr. Carl Lumholtz speaks of the garden beds which are 
connected with the deserted pueblos and ancient cave dwell- 
ings of the Sierra Madre. He says: 

Deserted pueblos, consisting of square stone houses, are frequently 
met with. They are gener; lly found on the top of the hills and mountains, 
and are surrounded by fortifications in the shape of stone walls. The 
most interesting remains, however, are in the caves, which contain houses 
at times three stones high, with small windows and cross-like doors, in the 
ordinary conventional Ind-an way; even s'one staircases are once in a 
while met with. There and everywhere through the Sierra Madre, we 
found trincherits, or stone terrace's, built across small valleys, evidently 
intended for agricultural purposes. 

On every steep mountain side these extraordinary terraces of solid, 
large stones, constructed in the cyclopean style of masonry, arose to a 
height of fifteen, nay, twenty feet. We observed them even at an altitude 
of 7,400 feet. At one point we counted eight of them within a space of 150 
feet, the aborigines having gained, by the enormous amount of labor 
expended, 3,500 square feet of additional surface ground'; in other words, 
they only made room for 500 or 600 " hills " of maize. 

Small, enclosed gardens called "Farming Pueblos" are 
common, both at Zuni and among the Tusayans. The enclosing 
walls are generally made of stone, sometimes of stone in com- 
bination with stakes. Upright slabs of stone have been used 

'See Bandolier's Report, Part II., page 17. 


by the Pueblo-Builders to make walls, and by the Cliff-Dwellers 
to mark the graves. 

Field shelters, made out of brush and branches, with raised 
platforms, were common among the Pueblos. These were 
mere make-shifts, and do not compare with the boulder sites, 
which are found associated with the irrigating ditches. These 
are to be distinguished from the corrals, which have been erected 
in recent times near the pueblos; specimens of which may be 
seen at Walpi, Pescado, and Ojo Caliente.* 

8. Aqueducts are described by Mr. Bandelier as existing at 
Casa Grandes, as well as an extensive system of irrigation. 
The following is his description: 

It is quite likely that the main portion of the field lay in the bottom 
near the river, where the land is very fertile and can be easily irrigated. 
The main irrigating ditch enters the ancient village from the northwest, 
and can be traced for a distance of two or three miles. It takes its origin 
about three miles from the ruins, at the foot of the higher slopes and near 
a copious stream. It looks, therefore, as if it had conducted the water 
from the spring to the settlement, for household purposes only. After pass- 
ing a peculiar structure, it empties into a circular tank, the diameter of 
which is forty-five feet, its depth five feet, and continues its course to 
another tank, seventy-two feet in diameter, with a rim three feet high and 
thirty-nine feet wide; this tank is six feet deep in the centre. The acequia 
is best preserved on the terrace northwest of the ruins. There, its course 
is intercepted by gu'ches. It seems at a depth of about four feet below 
the present surface. A layer of calcareous concrete formed the bottom of a 
shallow trough, through which the water was conducted. This channel is 
about ten 'eet wide, and was carried with a steady and very gradual 
decline by means of artificial fillings, and probably by wooden channels, 
across intervening gulches. 

Another acequia, fourteen feet wide, also slightly raised above the 
ground, shows four longitudinal rows of stone laid at intervals of four to six 
tect. It looks more like a road bed than a ditch. It seemed to me, as if 
both the channels had been connected, and as if they were but branches of 
the main line running across the terraces, one designed to fill the two 
artificial basins near the ruins; the other entering the bottom. It seems 
ciear that the inhabitants of the Casas Grandes had made considerable pro- 
gression in irrigation, and that it at one time contained a population more 
dense than that of any part of the southwest. The ancient culture which 
nourished at Ca?as Grandes was similar to that which existed on the banks 
of the Gila and Salado, but there was a marked advance over any other 
portion of the southwest, shown particularly in certain household utensils, 
the existance of s'airways in the interior of houses, and in the method of 
the construction of irrigating ditches. Nevertheless, the strides made were 
not important enough to raise the people to the level of the more southern 
tribes. Their plastic art, as far as disolayed in the few idols and fetiches, 
remains behind that of the Nahua, Zapotecas, Mayas, etc. They seem to 
have reached an intermediate stage between them and the Pueblos, thaugh 
nearer to the latter than the former. 

III. The distribution of the irrigating ditches will- be next 
considered. Irrigation was practised by nearly all the Pueblo 
tribes those who were situated on the Rio Grande, on the 
Little Colorado, on the Gila, on the Rio Verde, and possibly on 
the Chaco. The irrigating ditches have been recognized in 
nearly all of these valleys. In giving the description of these 

* See Eighth Annual Report, plates Ixx., Ixxi. and Ixxiv. 



we shall quote the various parties who have visited the Pueblos. 
We shall begin with those of the Rio Grande. 

Mr. Morgan refers to several localities where irriga- 
tion was practised, one of them at Taos, and the other at 
Mashongnavi on the Little Colorado. Of Taos he says: 

It is situated upon Taos Creek at the western base of the Sierra Madre 
Range, which form the eastern border of the bread valley of the Rio 
Grande, into which the Taos stream runs. The two structures stand about 
twenty-five rods apart on opposite sides of the streams, facing each 
other. The present occupants of the pueblo, about four hundred, are 
divided between the two houses, and they are thrifty, industrious, and 
intelligent people. Upon the east side is a long adobe wall, connecting the 
two buildings, or rather protecting the open space between them. A corre- 
sponding wall doubtless closed the space on the opposite side, thus forming 
a large court between the buildings. The creek is bordered on both sides 
by ample fields or gardens, which are irrigated by canals drawing water 
from the streams. Lieutenant Ives observed gardens cultivated by irriga- 
tion on the sides of the bluffs. Hetween the two, the face of the bluff had 
been ingeniously converted into terraces. They were faced with neat 


masonry, and contained gardens, each surrounded with a raised edge, so as 
to retain water upon the surface. Pipes from the reservoirs permitted them 
at any time to be irrigated.* 

Mr. F. W. Hodge, who was connected with the Hemmni- 
way expedition, speaks of the irrigating canals <>f south- 
ern Arizona as indicating a large Pueblo population and a 
high degree of advancement. He says: 

It is safe to say that the principal canals constructed by the ancient 
inhabitants of the Salado valley alone, controlled the irrigation of at least 
250,000 acres of land. The outlines of 150 miles of ditches could be easily 
traced. Their routes are effaced from the more open ground, but there 
were concretions which had been deposited along the banks, as " t.mi. r> ..I 
the waters." These, with the implements which had been dropped, wen- 
sufficient to show the line which had been followed. Near one of the thirty- 

*" House and House-life," page 144. 


six large communial structures the ancient pueblo, De los Muertos was 
a supply canal, the depth of which was about seven feet, and the width 
about thirty feet. This canal was divided into two beds, the lowest being 
about four feet wide, but the sides broadened until a bench was reached, 
which was three teet wide on < ither side ; from these benches the b inks 
continued broadening until they reached the brink. The bottom and sides 
of the canal were very hard, the supposition is that they had been plastered 
with adobe, and that brush fires had been made upon them till they were 

It is noticed that nearly all the pueblos were situated, not near the 
river, but near the ends of the canals, showing that the builders were 
dependent upon the canals for subistence. The means of transportation 
were furnished by the canals, so that countless boulders from the river 
bank had been carried ten or twelve miles to the vicinity of the pueblos. 
At a group of ruins, near Mesa City, the remains of an extensive irrigation 
system, the canal bed had been carried through a large knoll with incon- 
ceivable difficulty, in order to reach the tract of fertile land. 

The ancient canal was utili/.ed by the Mormons for fully three miles, 
with a saving of from $20.000 to $25,000. The pueblos of the Gila were 
generally larger than those of the Salado, irrigating canals were more 
extensive, with many hillside reservoirs, showing that an extensive popula- 
tion existed here. The sites of the ancient reservoirs were discovered, 
These were natural sinks, deepened by artificial means, and served the pur- 
pose of storage basins for surplus waters. One such was found to be a 
mile long, and a half mile wide. The most of the valley lands were once 
covered with a network of irrigating ditches. 

In the region of the Zunis, the canals have not been traced, though the 
snpposition is that they cultivated the soil in the same way as the western 
tribes did. The description of the Zuni houses, furnished by historians, 
would indicate that they were on the summit of the mesas.* 

Mr. Bandeiier has also described the irrigating ditches in the 
valley of the Verde and elsewhere. This region has been 
described by Mr Cosmos Mindeleff. He says: 

The region which furnishes the best examples of irrigating ditches and 
the greatest number of contrivances for cultivating the soil by this means, 
is that which is situated far to the west in the region of Limestone Creek 
and the Rio Verde, which lies between the home of the Cliff-Dwellers at 
the north, and the ancient and ruined villages on the Gila, and to the west 
of the inhabited villages of the Moquis and Zunis. This seems to have 
been a migrating route of the Cliff-Dwellers, and possibly may have been 
the resort of tribes who were allied to the Pueblos. There are many stone 
villages, cavate lodges, boulder sites and other signs of habitation scattered 
throughout the entire region. 

The Rio Verde is throughout its length a mountain stream. Rising in 
the mountains and plateaus bounding two great connected valleys north- 
west of Prescott, known as Big Chino valley and Williamson valley, both 
over 4,000 feet above the sea, it discharges into Salt river about ten miles 
south of McDowell and about twenty-five miles east of Phoenix, at an ele- 
vation of less than 1,800 feet above the sea. The fall from Verde to 
McDowell, a distance of about sixty-five miles, is about 1,500 feet. The 
whole course of the river is but little over 150 miles. 

Its rapid tall would make the river valuable for irrigation if there were 
tillable land to irrigate; but on the west the river is hugged closly by a 
mountain chain whose crest, rising over 6,000 feet above the sea, is some- 
times less than two miles from the river, and whose steep and rugged sides 
descend in an almost unbroken slope to the river bottom. The eastern 
side of the river is also closely confined, though not so closely as the west- 
ern, by a chain of mountains known as the Mazatzal range. 

Most of the modern settlements of the Rio Verde are along the upper 

*See " Prehistoric Irrigation," by F. W. Hodge. 







portion of its course. Prescott is situated on Granite creek, one of the 
sources ot the river, and along other tributaries, as tar down as the southern 
end af the great valley in whose centre Verde is located, there are many 
scattered settlements; but from that point to McDowell there are hardly a 
dozen houses all told. This region is most rugged and forbidding. There 
aie no roads, atid few trails, and the latter are feebly marked and little used. 
The former inhabitants ot this region were an agricultural people, and 
their villages were always located either on or immediately adjacent to 
some area of tillable soil. This is true even of the cavate lodges, which 
are often supposed to have been located solely with reference to facility of 
defense. Perched on the hills overlooking these bottoms, and sometimes 
located on the lower levels, there was once a number of large and important 
vi lages, while in the regions on the south, where the tillable areas are as a 
rule very much smaller, the settlements were, with one exception, small 
and generally insignificant. 

The irrigating ditches in the valley of the Verde are, per- 
haps, the most interesting of any, as they form a most important 
feature of the region, and are very conspicuous; in fact, the 
most conspicuous objects in the landscape. The age of these 
ditches is unknown, but they are old enough to have been 
affected by the changes of nature, and so may be ascribed to a 
geological age, though a very recent epoch in that age. They 
are connected with boulder sites and ancient ruins, which seem 
very ancient, but which were erected by the earlier Pueblo 
tribes, as temporary residences while working the fields. 

The following is the description of one of these ditches 
given by Mr. Mindeleff : 

One oi the finest examples of an aboriginal irrigating ditch that has 
come under the writer's notice, occurs about two miles below the mouth of 
Limestone creek, on the opposite or eastern side of the river. At this 
point there is a large area of fertile bottom land, now occupied by some 
half dozen ranches, known locally as the Lower Verde settlement. The 
ditch extends across the northern and western part of this area. The plate 
shows a portion of this ditch at a point about one-eighth of a mile east of 
the river. Here the ditch is marked by a very shallow trough in the grass- 
covered bottom, bounded on either side by a low ridge of earth and pebbles. 
North of this point the ditch can not be traced, but here it is about forty 
feet above the river, and about ten feet above a modern (American) ditch. 
It is probable that the water was taken out of the river about two miles 
above this place, but the ditch was run on the sloping side of the mesa 
which has been recently washed out. 

There is no reason to suppose that the ancient ditch did not irrigate 
nearly the whole area of bottom land. The ancient ditch is well marked 
by two clearly defined lines of pebbles and small boulders, as shown in the 
illustration. Probably these pebbles entered into its construction, as the 
modern ditch, washed out at its head and abandoned more than a year ago, 
shows no trace of a similar marking. 

A little west and south of the point shown in the cut the bottom land 
drops off by a low bench of three or four feet to a lower level or terrace, 
and this edge is marked for a distance of about a quarter of a mile by the 
remains of a stone wall or other analogous structure. This is located on 
the extreme edge of the upper bench, and it is marked on its higher side 
by a very small elevation. On the outer or lower side it is more clearly 
visible, as the stones of which the wall was composed are scattered over 
the slope marking the edge of the upper bench. At irregular intervals 
along the wall there are distinct rectangular areas about the size of an 
ordinary pueblo room, i. e., about eight by ten and ten by twelve feet. 

In February, 1891, there was an exceptional flood in the Verde mtr. 
due to prolonged haid rain. The river in some places rose nearly twenty 



feet, and at many points washed away its banks and changed the channel. 
The river rose on two occasions; during its first rise it cut away a consider- 
able section of the bank, near a point known as Spanish Wash, about three 
and one-half miles below Verde, exposing an ancient ditch. During its 
second rise it cut away still more of the bank and a part of the ancient 
ditch exposed a few days before. The river here makes a sharp bend and 
flows a little north of east. The modern American ditch, which supplied 
all the bottom lands of the Verde west of the river, was ruined in this 

vicinity by the flood 
that uncovered the 
old ditch. The cut 
is a map of the 
ancient ditch drawn 
in the field, with 
contours a foot 
apart, and showing 
also a section, on a 
somewhat larger 
scale, drawn b e- 
tween the points A 
and B on the map. 
MAP OF ANCIENT DITCH. Plate A is a view of 

the ditch looking 

westward across the point where it has been washed away, and plate B 
shows the eastern portion, where the ditch disappears under the bluff. 

The bank of the river at this point consists of a low sandy beach, from 
ten to fifty feet wide, limited on the south by a vertical bluff ten to twelve 
feet high, and composed of sandy alluvial soil. This bluff is the edge of 
the bottom land before referred to, and on top is almost fl it and covered 
with a growth of mesquite, some of the trees reaching a diameter of more 
than three inches. The American ditch, which is shown on the map, runs 
along the top of the bluff skirting its edge, and is about fourteen feet above 
the river at its ordinary stage. The edge of the bluff is shown on the map 
by a heavy black line. It will be 
observed that the ancient ditch 
occurs on the lower flat, about 
three feet above the river at its 
ordinary stage, and its remains 
extend over nearly 500 feet. 
The line, however, is not a